DOJ alleges Kansas hospital made false claims about EHR technology

Burlington, Kan.-based Coffey Health System has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for incentive payments for meaningfully using electronic health records, according to the Department of Justice.

The lawsuit alleged Coffey Health System submitted false claims pursuant to the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program, which was established to encourage healthcare providers to adopt and demonstrate their "meaningful use" of EHR technology. To receive incentive payments, providers must attest that they satisfy certain requirements, including measures for analyzing and addressing security risks to EHRs.

Coffey Health System, which operates a 25-bed critical access hospital, allegedly falsely attested that it conducted or reviewed security risk analyses, as required by HHS, for the 2012 and 2013 reporting periods.

"Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries expect that providers ensure the accuracy and security of their electronic health records," U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a press release. "This office remains committed to protecting the federal health programs and to hold accountable those whose conduct results in improper payments."

The lawsuit was originally filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.

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