Konica Minolta will pay $500,000 to settle a whistleblower case alleging the electronic health record systems it acquired fraudulently got certification.
In 2015, Konica Minolta acquired Viztek, a North Carolina-based health IT company. Two years later, a former Viztek employee brought a whistleblower case, which was filed under seal in the federal district court in New Jersey. It was unsealed on Thursday with the settlement agreement.
The complaint alleged that Viztek violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing that its EHR met the criteria for certification, which would allow it to receive incentive payments through the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.
For example, the software couldn’t reliably record the data that medication history data was entered, or electronically receive and incorporate laboratory test results, according to the complaint.
Viztek allegedly hard-coded its software to pass certification requirements when it was tested in 2015. If the software failed to perform a test script, the company would request breaks, during which developers would manually adjust the software to make it appear to perform the required functions, according to the complaint.
Philips & Cohen represented the whistleblower in the case.
“Our client was concerned about possible patient harm that can occur if EHR software isn’t properly certified, so she stepped forward to inform the government about what she had witnessed,” Philips & Cohen Partner Colette Matzzie said in a news release.
The Department of Justice joined the qui tam lawsuit. Per the settlement agreement, Konica Minolta must pay the U.S. $500,000. It also cannot seek payment for any healthcare billings related to the allegations. Konica Minotla didn’t respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
The case is United States ex rel. Leighsa Wilson v. Viztek Inc. et al.
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