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What to Consider Before Striking an EMR Contract

As seen in Healthcare Analytics News.

As legislation like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act encourages (or requires) healthcare systems to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs), providers are faced with a series of potential pitfalls. And in light of high-profile data breaches and recent lawsuits over mishandled healthcare data, it is essential that health systems do everything they can to both comply with regulations and stay safe from liability.

“The legal landscape has changed on a myriad of levels,” attorney Kevin Wood told Healthcare Analytics News™ in a recent interview. Wood specializes in healthcare as a partner for Texas-based law firm Strasburger & Price. Vital to both safety and compliance, he said, is a well-written contract between a provider and its EMR vendor.

To start, a good contract must assign liability and offer protections in case of a data breach. Whether data is stolen by bad actors or just mishandled by either the health system or EMR vendor, Wood said that both patients and governmental agencies that issue payments will often blame the hospital first.

“Five years ago, very few people had cyber liability insurance coverage. Today, that’s a consideration folks have to have,” he said. Providers will want their vendors to have that coverage in the event of a breach, particularly if the breach was the vendor’s fault. While data breach insurance deals are growing from $1 million or so when they first appeared to over $10 million in some cases today, even that may not be enough.

To read the full article, click here.