Vanderbilt University Medical Center triples operating income after Epic rollout

Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported higher revenue and operating income in fiscal year 2019 than in the year prior, according to audited financial documents released Nov. 12.

The hospital reported operating revenues of $4.5 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $4.1 billion in the year prior. The boost is primarily attributable to higher net patient service revenue, which climbed 11 percent year over year. "The increase in net patient service revenue was due to improved clinical volume and significant improvement in cash collections," the hospital said. 

Increases in labor, drug and supplies costs pushed VUMC's expenses higher. The hospital's expenses totaled $4.3 billion in the most recent fiscal year, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

VUMC ended fiscal 2019 with operating income of $181.1 million, up from $56.2 million in the year prior.

The implementation of a new Epic EMR system dragged down the hospital's finances in fiscal 2018. VUMC's finances bounced back in the most recent fiscal year. 

"Our FY19 operating results reflect a return to strong operating performance as we completed our recovery after our electronic medical record implementation which occurred in FY18," VUMC management said in the earnings release

VUMC completed its EMR implementation in November 2017. In its fiscal year 2018 earnings report, the hospital said its operating income was dragged down by increased operating expenses tied to the implementation. The EMR implementation also put pressure on clinical volumes in the post-live period, the hospital said.

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