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Epic Costs

March 23, 2009
by vciotti
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Wow, more interesting news last week re: Epic's ongoing, unofficial Economic Stimulus Package:

1. Kaiser has upped its budget for 5 (read it again,

just 5) of its largest medical centers to implement Epic, this time to $1B. First press releases a few years ago forecast $150M, second iteration last year was $500M, now $1B. Gosh, I though that kind of inflation only came out of Washington, D.C?

2. Carilion in WV announced record losses last year, due mainly to poor investments (sounds like my 401K!). However, they also stated that their implementation of Epic's EMR was "the single biggest item" contributing to operating losses...

3. Kaiser is outsourcing a large chunk of their IT operations to IBM, and laying off 700 IT employees, who will be eligible for hiring by IBM... This come on the heels of a full-page ad Kaiser ran in US Today a month ago in which they bragged of their $4B (that's a "B" as in federal government Bailout) investment in Epic's EMR.Â

Now, I'm sure Suresh, the Epic CIO blogger on these pages, will assail me for being too pecuniary and not considering all the vast improvements Epic's EMR will make on patient care and internal operations of these institutions. I guess we just did too much work with The Hunter Group over the years to believe that throwing such amounts of money at IT makes sense. Let alone in these tough times. As the good nuns are wont to say to say: "no margin, no mission."Â

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