AI Under Fire in Healthcare by DOJ
From Bloomberg Law
- Practice Fusion and Purdue Pharma case: The article describes how a federal prosecutor in Vermont uncovered a kickback scheme between an electronic health record vendor (Practice Fusion) and a pharmaceutical company (Purdue Pharma) that used AI to prompt doctors to prescribe addictive painkillers. This case resulted in criminal and civil settlements for both companies in 2020.
- DOJ’s probes of AI tools: The article reports that DOJ investigators are now subpoenaing other pharmaceuticals and digital health companies to learn more about their use of AI tools that match patients with certain drugs and devices. The article cites sources who say that the probes are still in early stages and may be part of the Biden administration’s initiative to regulate healthcare AI.
- Challenges and risks of AI tools: The article explains that the use of AI tools in patient records can have both benefits and harms, depending on how they are designed and implemented. The article quotes former prosecutors and industry lawyers who say that the AI tools can be difficult to trace and monitor, and can potentially lead to anti-kickback and false claims violations if they are manipulated or influenced by financial incentives.
- Future of AI enforcement: The article speculates that the DOJ’s enforcement of AI tools will likely increase in the coming years, as the technology becomes more sophisticated and widespread. The article also suggests that healthcare companies should be careful about how they structure their AI tools and their relationships with business partners to avoid becoming targets of prosecutors.