In the worst case scenario, disagreement between a vendor and a practice leads to problems with accessing medical records altogether, as one case in Maine recently showed. The Boston Globe has reported that Full Circle Health Care, a practice in Presque Isle., Maine, was blocked from opening electronic health records after their vendor, CompuGroup, took action.
The reason the block was instituted reportedly goes back to a payment discrepancy: CompuGroup is arguing that the medical practice didn't pay them for nearly a year and now owes them an accumulated $20,000. Until the money is paid, they said, they will not grant access to the records, which puts the patients of Full Circle in possible jeopardy.
Although the physicians at the hospital are upset over the lack of information, a representative from CompuGroup's general counsel, Tetyana Buescher, gave her organization's perspective on the situation.
"If you were to stop paying your electricity bill, and a year later someone shut down your electricity, how would you feel about that?'' she said. "Full Circle had a lot of opportunities to resolve this, including getting on a payment plan; they chose not to do that."
Even though this practice is now working with a different vendor, the company is still facing the legal consequences of CompuGroup's actions. There's an added complication, since the technology it used to set off its "kill switch" was supposedly done without the healthcare provider's consent or knowledge, as the owner of Full Circle told the source.
In difficult disputes like this, a medical billing consultant gives additional insight to taxed physicians dealing with newer technology and systems.