Partners HealthCare earnings dragged down by Epic transition

Boston-based Partners HealthCare reported lower operating income and net income in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, which was partially due to the cost of implementing an Epic EHR system, according to the Boston Globe.

Health system officials said the cost to implement the Epic system have started to drag down earnings. Partners CFO Peter K. Markell said the system expects a $200 million hit to its net surplus over three years from expenses tied to the implementation of the Epic EHR system.

"[It's] training costs, the costs of elbow-to-elbow support to get people to really learn and use the system" Mr. Markell told the Boston Globe. "You need people to do all that work."

According to the report, Partners has hired 600 employees, as well as consultants, to launch the system.

The health system ended the first quarter of its fiscal year with higher revenue than the same period of the year prior. However, after accounting for increased expenses, Partners operating income slumped to $12.8 million, down from $74.1 million a year earlier.

Partners took a hit on investments in the period that ended Dec. 31, causing the system to post a $37.5 million loss for the quarter. That's compared to a net gain of $40.6 million in the same quarter of the year prior, according to the report.

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