EHR vendor freezes provider out of patient records

A Milwaukee-based community health center has sued its former electronic health record vendor to restore access to its own EHR system.

Milwaukee Health Services claims in its federal lawsuit, filed July 15, that Atlanta-based Business Computer Applications, Inc. (BCA) froze it of BCA's Pearl EHR software in violation of federal and state law. In addition, the complaint states that the EHR was never fully functional, despite having paid $3.1 million for the system. The freeze out occurred, the lawsuit alleges, after the center opted to switch EHR vendors, according to an article published by Courthouse News Service

BCA, meanwhile, claims that the center lost access by letting its contract expire, and says that Milwaukee Health owes $285,097.03 for services and products that remained unpaid. It has sued the center in Georgia state court for payment of that bill, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The problem of being denied access to one's own EHR system for refusing to pay an access fee is not uncommon, and may worsen as more providers switch EHR systems. Panama City-based Pain Clinic of North Florida sued Allscripts earlier this year after the vendor discontinued its MyWay product, in part because Allscripts required that providers who opted to change vendors pay thousands of dollars to release their data back to them.  

To learn more:
- here's the Courthouse News Service article
- read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article