MD Anderson points to Epic implementation for 77% drop in adjusted income

Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center reported a 76.9 percent drop in adjusted income for the 10 months ended June 30, a downfall it largely attributes to its Epic EHR implementation project.

In its agenda book and schedule of events for the University of Texas board of regents' meeting held Wednesday and Thursday, the health system reported a $405 million decrease in adjusted income as compared to the same time period the previous year.

"The $405.0 million (76.9 percent) decrease in adjusted income…was primarily attributable to an increase in expenses combined with a decrease in patient revenues as a result of the implementation of the new Epic Electronic Health Record system," according to the agenda book.

The finance committee indicated expenses had increased due to a higher number of full-time employees, which required increased salaries, wages and payroll-related costs; salary increases and increased premium sharing rates; depreciation and amortization expenses related to the completion of several large projects; and other facility management and software projects.

Additionally, the agenda mentions an increase in consulting expenses "primarily related" to its Epic go-live, such as professional fees and services.

This isn't the first time MD Anderson has pointed to its Epic implementation project as a significant element of downward finances. In a May board of regents' meeting, the health system said costs related to the Epic implementation led to a 56.6 percent drop in adjusted income in the seven-month period that ended March 31.

In both instances, the health system said it anticipated a "material impact to revenues and expenses" due to the implementation.

"The post implementation strategy will focus on clinical productivity and operational efficiencies to return to normalized operations by year-end," according to the report.

MD Anderson went live on its Epic EHR in March.

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