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EHRs are a DOJ priority: Recent cases may explain why

Christopher C. Sabis (csabis@srvhlaw.com) heads the Government Compliance & Investigations group at Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison PLC in Nashville, TN.

In late February, Joseph (Jody) Hunt, assistant attorney general (AAG) for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Division, told the Federal Bar Association about the DOJ’s civil enforcement priorities for 2020. Alongside elder justice initiatives and skilled nursing facilities—the presentation preceded the coronavirus pandemic taking hold in the United States—AAG Hunt listed electronic health records (EHR) systems as targets for future action.[1] Scrutiny of EHR-related issues is not new, and it is not surprising given that the federal government has invested more than $35 billion in meaningful use incentive payments over the last decade.[2] A brief review of the history of EHR-related False Claims Act (FCA) settlements and two newer cases may shed some light on where DOJ is heading in the EHR arena.

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