Software Developer Files Suit Against Orange County To Prevent Release of Contract for Medi-Cal Claims Processing System
Software developer Cerner last week filed a lawsuit against Orange County to prevent the release of contract information for a medical records and billing system that the company is developing for the county Health Care Agency, the Orange County Register reports (Saar/Saavedra, Orange County Register, 3/20). The system is intended to centralize mental health patients' medical records and submit claims to the state for services eligible for Medi-Cal reimbursement, but it immediately malfunctioned when launched in September. David Riley, chief compliance officer for the agency, said that some of the problems arose because the state now requires all Medi-Cal claims to be filed in a new format -- which neither the new computer system nor the previous system could replicate -- to comply with provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It will cost the county an additional $475,000 to submit Medi-Cal claims to the state manually this year while Cerner completes the installation (California Healthline, 3/15). County officials said that costs related to the system total more than $17 million over four years. The Register last month requested a copy of the contract. Cerner's lawsuit says the information in the contract includes "sensitive proprietary and confidential information and trade secrets" and that releasing the information would result in "serious, immediate and irreparable business injury and damage" (Orange County Register, 3/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.