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Five Health IT Predictions For 2018
As seen in Fierce Healthcare.
This past year featured pockets of significant progress for the health IT industry, and several of the healthcare technology trends that grabbed the spotlight are poised to maintain their momentum in 2018.
Those changes will give way to new breeding grounds for innovation as regulatory shifts continue to shape the industry. With that in mind, here are our predictions for the industry over the next 12 months.
There will be more lawsuits over EHR incentive payments
The $155 million eClinicalWorks settlement broke the proverbial dam and you’d better believe attorneys (and prospective whistleblowers) read that complaint and the corporate integrity agreement with keen interest.
Hospital attorneys are already on notice. Corinne Smith, a healthcare attorney at Strasburger & Price in Austin, Texas, who helps hospitals negotiate contracts with EHR vendors, told FierceHealthcare she has started adding in new provisions requiring developers to upgrade systems free of charge if they are implicated in government charges or certification violations.
She’s also pushed for vendors to disclose whether they’ve entered a corporate integrity agreement with the government and she’s considering adding language requiring an annual independent audit.
“You can’t just rely on their word anymore,” Smith says.
Those legal issues are bound to bubble to the surface in one form or another: Watch how the Department of Justice handles these cases.
After cashing in on the eClinicalWorks settlement, federal prosecutors declined to join two False Claims Act cases this year—the aforementioned case in Indiana and a lawsuit against Epic claiming the vendor’s software overbilled for anesthesiology services. The DOJ has its own reasons for declining to join these cases, but their willingness to jump on board will certainly impact the number of cases that come forward.
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