A curious health-reform warning from Allscripts __»

April 13, 2010

We’ve seen a lot of grim disclosures about the health-care reform bill, including big charges from AT&T, Caterpillar, AK Steel and others. (Footnoted Pro subscribers can download our report on the topic from early April.)

Yet, if anyone would be excited about the new law, you’d think it would be healthcare-IT firms and electronic medical-records companies. After all, scattered throughout the bill’s 900-plus pages are numerous provisions encouraging electronic health records and related technology.

And yet, judging from language in the 10-Q it filed Thursday, Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions (MDRX), the Chicago-based healthcare-IT company, isn’t so sure. True, it notes almost grudgingly that some of the law’s provisions “may have a positive impact, by expanding the use of electronic health records in certain federal programs, for example.” But others, it warns,

“may have a negative impact due to fewer available resources. Increases in fraud and abuse penalties may also adversely affect participants in the health care sector, including the Company.”

No doubt, the risks laid out in SEC filings are generally written by lawyers who try to cover every eventuality short of alien invasion. But is Allscripts really trying to tell its shareholders that it’s worried that stiffer fraud and abuse penalties may have a negative impact on the company?

Image source: mandiberg via Flickr.

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