MaineHealth to Spend Extra $55 Million on Epic Training Following Billing Issues

Portland-based MaineHealth has increased its investment in its Epic electronic health record system from $145 million to $200 million, with most of the increase going toward more staff training.

The additional training is meant to fix billing issues that have plagued MaineHealth since the system was installed in late 2012. Hospital officials have cited problems sending out accurate bills as a major reason Maine Medical Center, the system's flagship Portland hospital, posted $13.4 million in losses during the first half of the 2013 fiscal year, according to a Press Herald report.

Hospital officials attribute the billing issues to insufficient staff training, not the Epic software itself. "The program has performed as designed," MaineHealth CIO and Senior Vice President Andy Crowder told the Press Herald.

Despite the troubled implementation, hospital officials remain optimistic about the new EHR system and its potential to deliver better, more efficient care to the system's patients. "It's a good investment once you get it right," said MaineHealth President Bill Caron, according to the report.

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