SLU physician group implements hiring freeze after EHR rollout

St. Louis University is implementing a cost-cutting initiative and a hiring freeze as it faces a projected $30 million deficit by 2023 due to lower student enrollment and less revenue from its medical practice, according to KBIA.

SLU's enrollment has declined by 638 students over the past five years, while the university has continued to provide more grants and scholarships. SLU's medical practice, SLUCare Physician Group, is also facing financial challenges.

SLUCare's patient care revenue significantly declined, and its expenses grew from the transition to a new EHR system, SLU President Fred Pestello, PhD, wrote in an email to faculty and staff Nov. 12. The physician practice is operating at a deficit.

To help overcome the financial challenges, SLU implemented a hiring freeze across SLUCare and the college. The physician practice is also exploring other ways to cut costs and boost revenue.

Although financial projections show SLU could face substantial shortfalls in 2020 and beyond, Dr. Pestello said the university is "fiscally sound," according to the report. 

Read the full KBIA article here.

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