Practice Fusion admitted receiving kickbacks from an opioid vendor to influence the prescribing practices of physicians. The Practice Fusion electronic health record, like most EHRs, uses clinical decision support (CDS) alerts to assist practitioners in identifying correct dosages, potential drug interactions and other issues. Practice Fusion allowed those pharmaceutical companies that paid "sponsorship payments" to participate in designing the CDS alerts, even drafting the language used in the alerts.
Population health is all the rage in health care these days. The industry consensus is that it will not be possible to contain health care costs, and improve quality, without the ability to capture data from health care providers' records and analyze it to determine whether providers are adhering to clinical practice guidelines or meeting benchmarks, and to track patients across the continuum of care. However, individually identifiable patient information cannot be disclosed to a central repository without assuring that this disclosure is permitted under HIPAA.