After several legal setbacks, two Indiana attorneys have dropped a lawsuit alleging dozens of hospitals across the state submitted fraudulent Meaningful Use data to receive millions in EHR incentive payments.
A week after dropping claims filed on behalf of the state, the attorneys filed a notice of voluntary dismissal (PDF) on Friday to drop the remaining federal claims. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana filed a motion in support of the dismissal.
The lawsuit comes to an end less than two months after it was unsealed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Initially filed in September 2016, attorneys Michael P. Misch and Bradley P. Colborn with Anderson Agostino & Keller, P.C., alleged 62 hospitals accepted more than $324 million in state and federal EHR incentive payments by submitting fraudulent Meaningful Use attestation data. The lawsuit claimed that the hospitals, along with Ciox Health, a Georgia-based medical records fulfillment company, failed to fulfill medical records requests within three business days.
But the legal challenge faced an uphill battle after both state and federal prosecutors declined to join the case. Shortly after the state declined to intervene, Indiana’s attorney general urged the district court to dismiss the case, arguing it had “little, if any merit.”
The case marks another legal victory for Ciox Health, which recently fought off a class-action lawsuit alleging the company overcharged patients for medical records. Ciox recently filed its own lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services seeking an injunction on certain elements of HIPAA enforcement.