Lawsuit accuses Cerner of installing faulty software
- Issues with a Cerner revenue cycle management system have landed the EHR vendor in legal hot water, Modern Healthcare reported.
- Fond du Lac, Wis.-based Agnesian HealthCare is suing Cerner for fraud and breach of warranty, alleging the problems with the 2015 rollout of its Integrated Solution system cost it to lose $16 million and harmed its reputation. The company is seeing $200,000 a month in damages and cancellation of its Cerner contract.
- Pressures to comply with meaningful use and MACRA requirements could spur more client-vendor lawsuits, Jeffrey Short, a healthcare IT and privacy lawyer with Hall Render, told the news site. “I think we’ll see more of that due to the sheer volume of the activity.”
Agnesian claims problems with the software, for which it paid $300,000, started immediately after implementation, causing “pervasive error” in patient billing which had to be corrected by hand, according to the complaint. Despite Cerner’s claims to have fixed the problem in 2016, Agnesian says it has continued to experience coding errors this year.
“As Agnesian later learned, Cerner’s Integrated Solution was automatically writing off reimbursable charges for services without any notice to Agnesian,” the complaint states. “Due to the severity of coding issues, Cerner admitted to Agnesian that the Integrated Solution needs to be rebuilt.” The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The lawsuit goes on to note that the Cerner employees who were tasked to retool the software had since left the company and that, even if it were rebuilt, it would take months to return to normal billing operations. The problems could cause Agnesian to miss federally managed billing benchmarks.
Cerner filed a motion to dismiss the case or move it to Western Missouri district court, alleging improper venue.
EHR vendors have faced litigation over software before. In June, eClinical Works and some of its employees agreed to pay $155 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that they misrepresented its EHR software’s capabilities and $392,000 in kickbacks to customers who promoted the product.
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions paid close to $9.75 million to settle securities fraud claims after allegedly overstating its ability to integrate its systems and products with of Eclipsys after the companies merged in 2010.