The aftermath of the recent False Claims Act lawsuit against eClinicalWorks (eCW) has some good news for the company’s clients. Recently, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced healthcare providers who used the eCW software to attest to meaningful use criteria will not have to repay any incentives they received.
As for eCW, the company must pay $155 million and upgrade existing customers to a new version or transfer their data to a rival EHR, both free of charge. The agreement mandates that it retain an Independent Review Organization watchdog to monitor eClinicalWorks activity for five years.
For more information about the lawsuit and claims against eCW, please see our recent blog.
While eCWs’ customers may not face any financial penalties, there still are costs. This includes the cost of determining the level of faulty records as well as the expense to clean up the errors. Some of the errors may take a long time to uncover, if they are able to be uncovered at all. There is uncertainty about the damages, even if there aren’t penalties assessed by CMS.
Replacing eClinicalWorks EHR
If your organization uses eCW software, it might be an opportune time to consider replacing eClinicalWorks EHR. Among other provisions, the eCW settlement with the federal Department of Justice includes provisions that require the company to assist its customers in making the switch to the products of other competitors, at no charge. Now, customers can get updated versions of their software free of charge, and upon request, eCW must transfer customers’ data to another EHR vendor without penalties or service charges.
Looking for a Solution for Legacy EHRs?
If your organization is affected by the eCW suit or just looking for a secure storage solution for legacy data from out-of-production EHRs, an archive could provide an opportunity to efficiently consolidate numerous disparate systems into one streamlined, vendor neutral repository.
A well-planned legacy data management strategy alleviates future IT costs, risks and burdens as platforms come and go. Long-term medical data archive vendors that know the EMR market inside and out offer secure solutions that ensure data integrity and meet HIPAA, state and agency medical record retention requirements.
If your organization is working through the burden of what to do with its eCW system or with having numerous outdated legacy systems, this might be the time to contact Harmony Healthcare IT, the makers of Health Data Archiver, for a consultation about system replacement and data retention.
Be certain. We can help.