IT contractor to pay $389K DOJ settlement after inadequate EMR implementation

Computer Services Corp. has agreed to pay $389,355 to settle U.S. Justice Department allegations that it falsely claimed it had met requirements for a new EMR system at U.S. Energy Department occupational health clinics in Washington state, the Tri-City Herald reports.

Here are six things to know about the settlement:

1. In 2009, officials with Washington's nuclear production complex Hanford Site decided to replace its EMR, paying almost $1.4 million for a new records and digital imaging system. Officials tapped CSC to install the system, but federal court documents allege the EMR never worked properly and that the IT contractor failed to provide adequate resources for the project as the end of its contract neared.

2. Under the contract, officials required CSC to have the EMR operational by September 2012. If not, the contractor would lose up to 30 percent of its incentive payments for the year. Federal court documents allege CSC took the system live in mid-September 2012, despite the fact it did not work correctly.

3. In 2015, the Energy Department asked HHS to assess the system. HHS reportedly found various issues, such as the system sometimes entering information into the incorrect patient's file, allowing medical charts to mistakenly be sent to any printer at Hanford, and inadequately tracking health risks for Hanford workers.

"Hanford Site workers perform a vitally important mission, through which they risk exposure to radioactive and hazardous materials," said U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington, according to the Herald. "It is critical that accurate health records be maintained concerning these workers."

4. The settlement emerged from a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court by two CSC employees. In 2016, the employees — Kirtley Clem and Matthew Spencer — were awarded $216,000 in back pay and compensation, plus legal costs, in an initial settlement with a trial before a U.S. Labor Department administrative law judge, alleging they lost their jobs in 2012 after reporting failures in the EMR.

5. Mr. Clem and Mr. Spencer will receive a combined total of $81,764 of the new settlement, plus legal costs.

6. CSC, which agreed to the $389,355 settlement, denied any wrongdoing.

To read the Herald's article, click here.

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