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Cancer Screening Test Vendor to Launch Epic EHR Implementation

Exact Sciences signed a contract for an Epic EHR implementation to streamline order entry, customer care, and rev cycle management.

Epic and Cerner recently scored new EHR implementation contract wins.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

Cancer screening test vendor Exact Sciences will launch an Epic EHR implementation to become Epic’s first diagnostic specialty customer, according to Wisconsin State Journal.

“Epic will become a core component of our IT (information technology) system, from order entry all the way through revenue cycle and customer care,” said Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy in a conference call with financial analysts.

Madison-based Exact Sciences will utilize Epic’s EHR in the same way Epic’s clinical care providers do.

“It will help us deepen our connection with customers of Cologuard and other future (diagnostic) tests,” said Conroy.

According to Exact Sciences spokesman Scott Larrivee, the Epic system will help to ease IT burden for the cancer screening test vendor as use of its Cologuard test increases. Cologuard is a noninvasive colon cancer screening test patients can use from home.

“Working with our Madison neighbors in the fight against colorectal cancer, Exact Sciences joins the Epic community as our first diagnostic specialty customer,” said Epic Vice President of Population Health Alan Hutchison. “We’re eager to expand this work as we continue to move further into genomic medicine and providing molecular insights.”

According to Conroy, implementing Epic will give Exact a competitive advantage over other cancer screening test vendors because it will be easier for providers to incorporate Cologuard prescriptions and test results into EHR systems.

Currently, over 200 million patients have existing health records on Epic EHR systems.

Logansport Memorial Hospital to Begin $14.4M Cerner EHR Replacement

Elsewhere in EHR vendor news, Logansport Memorial Hospital has made the decision to launch a Cerner EHR replacement project.

Logansport will swap out two different EHR systems for a single, unified Cerner platform, according to Pharos-Tribune.

One health IT system currently in place at the Indiana-based hospital supports acute care providers, while the other serves the hospital’s physicians.

According to Logansport CIO Dan Hildebrand, the hospital has outgrown the capabilities of the former two systems. Implementing a single EHR system across all care settings will help to reduce administrative burden on providers.

“When patients come in here and have to register in two different places, that's a pain point,” Hildebrand told Pharos-Tribune. “We've recognized that's a problem.”

Logansport has been preparing to go live with the a new commercial EHR system for the past two years.

Once the Cerner system is live, patients will be able to access their test results and complete health information through a single patient portal.

“We want to make sure that it's cohesive and it's very easy to get to from a patient perspective,” said Hildebrand.

The EHR implementation project is expected to take between 12 and 15 months. The hospital plans to go live with the system in 2020. The cost of the new system will total $14.4 million over five years.

IT Contractor to Pay $389K Settlement for failing to meet EHR Requirements

Finally, a former IT contractor based in Hanford, Washington has agreed to pay $389,355 to settle allegations from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that it falsely claimed to meet requirements for an EHR system implemented at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) occupational health clinics.

The Tri-City Herald reported that Computer Services Corp (CSC) implemented an EHR system at the DOE’s occupational health clinics in 2009. DOE paid nearly $1.4 million for the EHR and digital imaging system. According to court documents, the system never worked correctly and needed to be replaced.

Problems with the system included inadequate tracking of health risks for Hanford DOE workers. Because the EHR system did not sufficiently track health risks, DOE workers may not have been aware of medical restrictions surrounding exposure to the metal beryllium. Exposure to beryllium increases the risk of developing chronic beryllium disease, which is an incurable lung disease.

In September 2012, CSC was required to update and improve the system or risk losing up to 30 percent of its incentive payment for the year. The IT contractor failed to resolve problems with the system by the time the contract for the project ended.

When the system went live mid-September 2012, it did not work correctly, according to court documents.

In 2012, CSC IT employees Kirtley Clem and Matthew Spencer lost their jobs for reporting failures in the EHR system. After winning an initial settlement in a DOJ trial, the duo filed a whistleblower lawsuit in federal court in 2016 under the False Claims Act.

DOE requested that HHS assess the system in 2015. HHS found the system sometimes entered patient health data into the wrong patient’s health record—a complaint Clem and Spencer had reported in 2012.

Additionally, the system did not comply with federal patient privacy regulations.

On October 30, 2018, Clem and Spencer signed a settlement agreement to receive a combined total of $81,764, plus legal costs.

“Hanford Site workers perform a vitally important mission, through which they risk exposure to radioactive and hazardous materials,” said attorney Joseph Harrington, according to the Herald. “It is critical that accurate health records be maintained concerning these workers.”

DOE is currently seeking bids for a new IT contractor as its current contract expires.

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