Cerner EHR blamed for 99% claim rejection rate at Missouri hospital

After switching over to a Cerner electronic health record (EHR), Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) alleges 99 percent of its claims were being rejected, according to a report in Daily Star Journal.

The problems forced staff at the Warrensburg, Missouri facility to manually address nearly 21,000 bills every month. Those efforts still couldn’t handle the sheer volume of rejected claims, however, and the recent hiring of a third party company means patients may receive bills dating back to January 2017.

For bills issued prior to that date, hospital president and CEO Darinda Reberry said WMMC will have to write off the portion owed by patients, resulting in a loss of “a couple of hundred thousand dollars” for the hospital.

Issues remain, Reberry said, with patients not knowing what services are being billed because of the Cerner software “tying all of a patient’s accounts together,” resulting in patients asking for more descriptive bills. Even with a new claims solution implemented in November 2017, around 25 percent of bills aren’t going through cleanly.

It’s not the first time Cerner has been accused of causing errors in a customer’s revenue cycle. A Wisconsin health system sued the health IT giant for $16 million last year, alleging Cerner software caused major coding errors. The complaint was dismissed a few months later over jurisdictional issues, with a federal judge saying the two parties had to settle the dispute through binding arbitration in Cerner’s home state of Missouri.

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