Cone Health Joins WFBMC In Suffering From Epic Costs

Owen Covington | The Business Journal | May 10, 2013

A second Triad health system has fallen into the red following its implementation of the popular Epic Systems Corp. electronic medical records system, with Cone Health posting a $13.2 million operating deficit midway through its fiscal year and implementing plans to cut $20 million in costs by this fall.

Cone Health joins Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and other large health systems nationally that have struggled with higher personnel costs and more lost revenue than expected when rolling out the Epic records system.

Healthcare Finance News reported this week that Maine Medical Center, one of Maine’s largest health systems, saw an operating loss of $13.4 million in the first half of its fiscal year due in large part to an Epic implementation. It has initiated a plan to cut $15 million in costs by the end of the fiscal year, the report said.

In North Carolina, Novant Health, Duke Medicine and UNC Health Care are all building toward full implementations of Epic in the next year. Given that each of those systems is investing at least $500 million in their Epic implementations, significantly more than either Wake Forest Baptist or Cone Health, the financial toll from a similar rocky rollout could be even more serious.