Will eClinicalWorks customers have to return MU incentives? CMS says no

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eClinicalWorks customers will not have to return meaningful use incentives, despite government allegations eClinicalWorks falsely obtained certification for its EHR software, a CMS spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review via email.

The Westborough, Mass.-based EHR vendor — and some of its executives and employees — agreed to pay $155 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice announced May 31. The government alleged eClinicalWorks withheld information from its certifying entity, such as how its software reportedly wasn't able to meet certain criteria for standardized drug codes.

Due to eClinicalWorks' alleged misrepresentations, healthcare organizations using the company's software submitted false claims for federal incentive payments, according to the DOJ. However, CMS — which administers the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs — will not punish these organizations.

"Providers that in good faith successfully attested using eCW software and received an incentive payment will not have to repay the incentive payment," a CMS spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review. "CMS realizes that providers may rely on the software they use for accuracy of reporting and CMS does not plan to audit eCW providers based on the settlement."

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