The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston recently reported a $160 million drop over a seven-month period ending March 31, blaming in part, “an increase in expenses combined with a decrease in patient revenues as a result of the implementation of the new Epic electronic health record (EHR) system.”
According to May 11-12 meeting notes from the U. T. System Board of Regents, “Expenses increased due to the following: salaries and wages and payroll related costs increased due to an increase in full-time employees, salary increases and increased premium sharing rates; professional fees and services increased as a result of increased consulting expenses primarily related to the Epic EHR project; and depreciation and amortization increased as a result of the completion of several large projects such as the Zayed Building, which was placed into service in February 2015, and the Epic EHR system, which was placed into service in March 2016, as well as various other facility management and software projects.”
The notes say that MD Anderson did anticipate a material impact to revenues and expenses as a result of the Epic EHR implementation. “The post-implementation strategy will focus on clinical productivity and operational efficiencies to return to normalized operations by year-end,” the notes read.
According to a March 7 report in Houston Business Journal, MD Anderson went live with Epic on March 4. The cancer-center began the process in December 2012, and approved Epic as its vendor in November 2013. While the terms of the contracts weren’t reported, the Houston Business Journal pointed to the Mayo Clinic/Epic EHR deal that would exceed $1 billion over a five-year timeframe.