New Jersey Electronic Health Records Company to Pay $500,000 to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
(STL.News) – An electronic health records company based in Passaic County, New Jersey, has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve allegations that a former subsidiary caused users to file false claims with the government, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc., based in Wayne, New Jersey, has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that its former subsidiary, Viztek LLC, caused users to submit false claims by misrepresenting the capabilities of its electronic health records (EHR) software.
According to documents filed in this case and the contentions of the United States contained in the settlement agreement:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program to encourage hospitals and eligible professionals – health care providers – to adopt and demonstrate their meaningful use of EHR technology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made incentive payments available to eligible professionals and hospitals that adopted certified EHR technology and met certain requirements relating to their use of the technology. To obtain certification for their product, companies that developed and marketed EHR technology were required to, among other things, demonstrate that their products satisfied certain HHS-adopted criteria.
The United States contends that Viztek fraudulently obtained certification for its product, known as “EXA EHR,” when it misrepresented to its certifying entity that the product complied with all applicable requirements for certification. Viztek knowingly caused eligible providers who used EXA EHR to falsely attest to compliance with the HHS requirements, which caused false claims for incentive payments to be submitted to the Medicare Program.
The allegations were raised in a lawsuit filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens with knowledge of fraud to bring civil actions on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s settlement.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marihug P. Cedeño, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit, and Nicole F. Mastropieri, of the Health Care Fraud Unit, in Newark.