3 times EHR adoption led to hospital, health system operating loss in the past year

EHR implementations are challenging for healthcare organizations, and the stakes are high.

According to the American Medical Association, some hospitals in 2017 reported EHR implementations costing $25 million to $10 billion, presenting budgeting challenges. Here are three instances of hospitals and health systems that reported operating loss attributed to EHR adoption.

Covenant Health in Tewksbury, Mass., reported $60.9 million operating loss in 2018 after implementing an $83 million EHR system. The health system reported its EHR adoption was slow and caused a 30 percent decrease in productivity. In 2017, the health system reported $4.2 million in operating loss.

Centra Health in Lynchburg, Va., posted an operating loss for the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year last November, and attributed the loss to its EHR rollout. The system reportedly went from $18.8 million in net operating income for the first three quarters of 2017 to a $2.7 million operating loss for the same period in 2018. The health system reported the first phase of implementation cost $65 million.

Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, reported $22.8 million operating loss for 2018, up from $1.9 million in 2017, and the hospital's CFO, Sky Gettys, attributed the loss to "the expense of installing and activating a new electronic medical record system," according to Columbus Business First. He told the paper that after the one-time implementation expense, he expects the hospital will "be back on track" for 2019.

More articles on EHRs:
Phelps Health to implement Epic EHR: 3 notes
AMA: Adding prescription drug prices to EHRs may boost transparency, combat rising costs
Cerner names 5 finalists for EHR code app challenge

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