A medical practice in Maine lost access to its electronic health records after a medical billing dispute with the vendor, the Boston Globe reports.
According to the Globe, “the German health technology company, called CompuGroup, likens the situation to a utility customer who stops paying bills, saying a medical provider should similarly expect its medical records to go dark. A couple of weeks after the July morning when the records were shut down, a CompuGroup lawyer at its US headquarters in Boston delivered an ultimatum, via e-mail: Until the medical office, Full Circle Health Care, paid $20,000 in overdue charges, the electronic health records would remain locked.”
The financially struggling office argues this creates life-threatening hazards for its patients. The office claims before the shutdown, there were “months of fruitless haggling over what [it] considered exorbitant, unexpected maintenance fees and charges for hardware that was never delivered — disputed billings that she said CompuGroup refused to acknowledge or correct.”
A reason disputes like this exist may be due to the hasty implementation of EHR. Not enough thought was given to “what happens when the computer systems stop working correctly, vendors or providers struggle financially or go out of business, or the parties have a falling out.”
Summary By MedicalGroups.com
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