Practice Fusion to pay $145M to resolve DOJ investigations on EHR and opioids

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Electronic health records vendor Practice Fusion, owned by Allscripts, has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve criminal and civil investigations related to its EHR software.

According to DOJ, Practice Fusion “admits that it solicited and received kickbacks from a major opioid company in exchange for utilizing its EHR software to influence physician prescribing of opioid pain medications.”

DOJ contends that kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies were in exchange for Practice Fusion implementing clinical decision support alerts in its EHR software designed to increase prescriptions for their opioids.

“Across the country, physicians rely on electronic health records software to provide vital patient data and unbiased medical information during critical encounters with patients,” said Ethan Davis, principal deputy assistant attorney general of DOJ’s Civil Division, in a written statement.

“Kickbacks from drug companies to software vendors that are designed to improperly influence the physician-patient relationship are unacceptable,” added Davis. “When a software vendor claims to be providing unbiased medical information—especially information relating to the prescription of opioids—we expect honesty and candor to the physicians making treatment decisions based on that information.”

Practice Fusion will pay more than $26 million in criminal fines and forfeiture and—in separate civil settlements—will pay a total of about $118.6 million to the federal government and states.

“Except for the conduct admitted in connection with the criminal resolution, the civil claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability as to such civil claims,” states the DOJ announcement.

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