20 things to know about Epic, Cerner heading into 2020

Epic and Cerner are the two largest EHR companies for hospitals and health systems across the country.

Here are 10 things to know about each company as they approach the new decade.

Epic

1. Epic celebrated its 40th anniversary in March 2019. It now has around 10,000 employees globally and generates about $2.9 billion in annual revenue. The company reports 40 percent of operating expenses are invested in research and development.

2. The EHR giant reports storing medical records for more than 250 million people.

3. In February, Mayo reported net income of $706 million on revenue of $12.6 billion in 2018 after moving to Epic EHR. Mayo officials estimated its multiyear technology upgrade, which included the EHR implementation, encompassed $1.5 billion worth of investments.

4. Epic partnered with Humana in June to advance interoperability and transparency between them. Humana integrated its real-time benefits check tool into Epic's electronic prescribing workflow.

5. Epic has added several programs to its App Orchard, including American Well's virtual care platform. Now, Epic EHR will conduct American Well-powered telehealth appointments and providers can use American Well's telemedicine carts to digitally partner with non-Epic medical facilities.

6. Epic partnered with Connected Care in July to implement its digital health record platform. Connected Care's platform of physician-led companies provide technology, services and products to hospitals, medical groups, health plans and independent practice associations.

7. Founder and CEO of Epic Judy Faulkner unveiled a new data research initiative and software during the Epic User Group annual meeting on Aug. 27. She highlighted the Cosmos program, which is designed to mine data from millions of patient medical records to improve research into treatments. The program gathers de-identified patient data from 8 million patients at nine health systems, and 31 more organizations have signed on to participate. The company also announced new products focused on letting physicians write shorter notes and voice recognition software.

8. Ms. Faulkner also discussed the company's culture and growth strategy during The Cap Times Idea Fest in September. She said Epic is built around the "yes, if" culture instead of a "no, because" mentality. She also said her background as a computer programmer was critical to the company's success, as she has kept the company private instead of going public or making big mergers and acquisitions.

9. Epic initiated another campus expansion at its Verona, Wis.-based headquarters that would add room for about 1,200 employees. The company plans to add office space that would accommodate job growth.

10. Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., partnered with Epic to help the company address delirium in the ICU. Epic made the add-on system update available to current clients ahead of its software launch in February.

Cerner

1. In 2018, Cerner reported $5.4 billion in revenue. It has more than 29,000 associates in 26 countries worldwide, and is contracted with more than 27,500 facilities in more than 35 countries.

2. Cerner's cumulative research and development investment is more than $7 billion.

3. In July, Cerner partnered with Amazon Web Services to increase efficiencies and modernize Cerner's platforms and software development. Cerner aimed to leverage Amazon's consumer knowledge for future generations of technology. The company plans to move HealtheIntent to AWS during the first half of 2020.

4. Cerner terminated its contract with Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health. The two initially partnered in January 2018 for Cerner RevWorks to manage the health system's revenue cycle. When the contract was terminated, 1,700 Cerner RevWorks employees became Adventist Health employees. The termination resulted in a $60 million organizational restructuring charge for Cerner.

5. In September, Simplee and Cerner announced a new relationship to improve price transparency and the billing process. Cerner added Simplee's Patient Financial Engagement Platform to its revenue cycle portfolio and integrated it into the system's consumer technology. The platform is a digital-first, self-serve technology that uses data analytics and machine learning to make personalized estimates on the cost of care as well as provides payment options.

6. On Oct. 24, Cerner reported $1.43 billion in third quarter revenue, up 7 percent year over year. The company's professional services revenue was $507.46 million and drove the third quarter increase. The company anticipates fourth quarter revenue at $1.41 billion to $1.46 billion.

7. On Oct. 28, Cerner partnered with Uber Health on non-emergency transportation services. Providers can now schedule Uber transportation through the Cerner EHR for patients.

8. Cerner partnered with Vively Health, a home-based primary care provider for patients with chronic conditions. The five-year partnership was announced on Oct. 29 and will transition Vively to Cerner's Millennium EHR.

9. On Nov. 12, Cerner reported plans to lay off 131 employees in the U.S. to increase operating margins to 20 percent by the end of the year. In 2019, the company onboarded more than 4,000 associates and planned to hire hundreds more in 2022. This round of layoffs followed a 255-employee layoff in September, as the company attempted to cut $200 million in costs through Dec. 31.

10. Cerner COO Michael Nill's departure was announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Nov. 1. Mr. Nill spent 23 years with the company and his official last day will be Jan. 10, 2020. Cerner Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Townsend also retired Nov. 1 and serves as executive senior adviser at the company.

More articles on EHR:
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Where the VA, Cerner EHR project stands ahead of 2020

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