A New Jersey medical records company settled a qui tam whistleblower complaint with the U.S. government. Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. (KMHA) agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve claims that its former subsidiary Viztek LLC (Viztek), misrepresented the capabilities of its electronic health records (EHR) software, allegedly resulting in false claims billed to Medicare. Viztek allegedly claimed that their medical record software, known as EXA EHR, complied with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) criteria for EHR software when in reality, it did not.
Companies that sell EHR software must have their software certified before being sold or used by hospitals or medical companies. The government contends that Viztek fraudulently obtained the certification for EXA EHR by misrepresenting the product to the group that was supposed to certify it.
The Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, also known as the Promoting Interoperability Programs (PIP), provides incentives to healthcare companies and professionals that integrate EHR software into their medical health systems. A company can claim these incentives through Medicare and Medicaid when their EHR program is certified to meet certain transparency and reliability requirements. By claiming that EXA EHR met these requirements, Viztek allegedly caused providers who used the software to submit false claims to Medicare. KMHA said that the alleged misrepresentation of the capabilities of EXA EHR happened before they acquired Viztek.
The complaint was brought under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens with knowledge of fraud to bring civil actions on behalf of the government and share in any recovery. Whistleblowers are often kept anonymous in similar cases and can be eligible for rewards of between 10 and 30% of the total recovered funds.