A group of Florida doctors have filed what they hope will roll up into a nice, fat class action suit against Allscripts over the vendor’s discontinuing support for its medical practice-oriented MyWay system. The suit was filed by Panama City-based Pain Clinic of Northwest FL, which says it spent about $40,000 to implement MyWay.
The suit claims that MyWay is so flawed that some Allscripts customers haven’t been able to meet Meaningful Use standards using the system. That being said, dropping support left about 5,000 small group physicians who bought MyWay in a jam, it argues. The plaintiffs say the system Allscripts is offering as a free upgrade, EHR Pro, is more aimed at the needs of large practices.
Making things worse, EHR Pro really isn’t free, the Pain Clinic’s lawyers say. “MyWay users – already unhappy with a defective product they paid enormous money to acquire, train and develop – must learn a new interface after spending so much time acclimating to the old system, and will continue to suffer the financial loss of the time and expense to re-train employees and migrate data, as well as the added cost to license and maintain a more complicated software program that exceeds the needs of most small physician practice groups,” the complaint says, according to a piece in the South Florida Business Journal.
In perhaps the most scandalous allegation, the clinic bringing the suit claims that Allscripts is asking for thousands of dollars in fees from users to release their data back to them if they don’t want to use EHR Pro. If this were true, it certainly wouldn’t do much for Allscripts’ reputation with potential medical group buyers; after all, nobody wants their clinical data held for ransom.
Whether or not the Florida pain clinic manages to pull together a large enough group to get certified as a class, if I were Allscripts I’d be careful with this one. It could end up as a PR debacle if nothing else.