EHR systems can track a patient’s vital signs, prescriptions, and health records, forcing the medical profession into a new era of electronic healthcare. With the advancement of technology, major medical corporations are starting to switch over to an electronic healthcare record (EHR) system that may increase efficiency in the health care market but several issues have been raised in cases where the new system has failed resulting in death. This often happens in nursing home cases that we prosecute.
In reviewing state and federal court filings about EHR wrongdoing, Kaiser Health News (KHN) and Fortune found around 24 cases of safety and installation concerns. In the case of Midwest Regional Medical Center in Oklahoma, doctors were finding the device unable to accurately track specific drug prescriptions and dosages correctly, creating the possibility for a major health and safety concern with their patients. This suit claimed that the hospital chain based out of Tennessee gained millions of dollars in the promised government subsidies by fraudulently covering up and ignoring flaws in the EHR systems from the Oklahoma hospital. Other suits claimed that corporations knowingly falsified government-mandated reviews, put in place to ensure the patient’s safety, just to receive federal subsidies. KHN found that nearly 28% of doctors and 5% of hospitals who claimed to have met government standards failed later audits to the system.
These systems were created and encouraged by the health care industry to eliminate medical errors that are caused by stupid mistakes or false documentation. Congress, in 2009, granted subsidies from $44,000 to $64,000 if they switched to this new electronic system and completed an “open book test” on the program. In order to receive the funding promised, doctors and vendors have turned towards “doctoring” their programs in order to receive certification. And this is only the start of the fraudulent system.
Corporations such as Community Health Systems (CHS), Medhost, and eClinicalWorks deny any allegations brought to court, reaching million dollar settlements without admitting any wrongdoing.
It’s a new era of health care fraud. Hospitals and doctors going unchecked and are putting their patient’s lives at risk for a big payout. In the end, the ones suffering from this fraud are patients, and it is up to whistleblowers and federal offices to enlighten the world on the abuse of power from doctors, hospitals, and corporations alike.