In a first for the Department of Justice, an electronic health records software vendor has agreed to a $145 million settlement over allegations that it created a kickback scheme aimed at prescribing opioids.
Practice Fusion was accused of receiving “sponsorship payments” from opioid drugmakers to allow them to develop clinical decision support (CDS) alerts in software designed to increase prescriptions of their products.
Under the settlement, $26 million will settle criminal charges against the company under a deferred prosecution agreement. The vendor was charged with receiving $1 million from an unnamed opioid drugmaker to create an alert aimed at pushing doctors to prescribe more extended-release opioids.
In addition to the criminal charges, Practice Fusion will pay $118.6 million to settle a civil case over the submission of false claims to federal healthcare programs and allegations relating to 13 other CDS agreement schemes. The $118.6 million includes approximately $113.4 million to the federal government and up to $5.2 million to states that participated in separate agreements.