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Hospital fights allegations of false claims

Hospitals often face allegations of wrongdoing. In some cases, the allegations can be severe and can lead to serious financial penalties as well as criminal liability for individuals that are involved. In one recent example, former employees of a hospital from Tennessee claimed the hospital filed false documents to get money from the government.

Former employees accuse hospital of filing false documents to partake in interoperability program for EHR

According to the lawsuit, the hospital violated the False Claims Act when it applied for incentive payments provided by the interoperability program for implementation of electronic health record (EHR) software. The lawsuit, filed by two former employees of the hospital, claimed the hospital received over $450 million in incentives through the program for an EHR that did meet the program’s qualifications.

The accusers further claim the hospital provided false information within the interoperability program application documents in order to receive approval. The employees argue the software was dangerous. For example, they state the EHR incorrectly calculated weight-based dosing — a problem that could lead to serious patient harm.

Judge reviews claims, rules in favor of hospital

When the hospital received notice of the lawsuit, it struck back stating it had done nothing wrong and that, contrary to statements within the claim, there were no records of instances of patient harm as a result of the hospital’s implementation of the chosen EHR software.

Upon review of the filings and evidence, the judge decided to dismiss the claim. He stated the facts provided within the claim are not sufficient to establish wrongdoing. The judge also struck down the request to provide the option for the plaintiffs to amend their complaint, stating the plaintiffs failed to “cite any legal authority or factual support” to back up the claim.