EHR Certification Fraud

Posted on August 17, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I recently got this disturbing email in my inbox:

I recently came across a healthcare IT firm that used backdoor tactics with the 170.304b test case of Meaningful use certification. The message format has been tampered with making it compliant with NIST v8.1 XML while the actual transmitted message is not. Whom do I report this to? This can be proved if the company is again put through the same test case.

Will this be considered as fraud? if yes, whom should I notify. I wonder what other test cases have been tampered too.

This email comes as Anne recently reported that the EHR Safety Watchdog EHR Event was shutting down. I can’t say I’m really that surprised that some percentage of the 600+ certified EHR vendors are gaming the EHR certification process. The challenge is where do you turn when this is happening?

Obviously, the above comment was somewhat short on details, but I suggested that they take the information to ONC/CMS to report it. I guess they got a response that basically the people at HHS would look into it, but that they didn’t report findings. I also suggested that they might want to talk to the EHR certifying body for that EHR software. I’m not sure exactly what the EHR certifying can or would do, but it would be interesting to find out.

I know an EHR consultant that’s done a few hundred EHR certifications and he told me that not all EHR certifications are equal. However, when the EHR certification is issued, it gives the appearance of equal. It’s a fallacy that everyone should know and understand.

What I think also could get interesting is those doctors who use an EHR that’s using tactics like the ones mentioned above. Could this come back to damage those doctors who use an EHR that’s using less than honorable methods to get by? I still believe that it’s not in HHS’ best interest to drag a practice that’s implemented an EHR through the mud, but time will tell.