Part of Lahey Health layoffs due to cost of EHR rollout

On Wednesday, Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health announced it is laying off 130 people at three hospitals to help close the budget gap.

In the six months ended March 31, Lahey Health reported losing $21 million, partly due to lost business during the winter's fierce snowstorms and partly due to its EHR implementation, which cost the system more than it expected, according to a Boston Globe report.

Joanne Conroy, MD, CEO of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, told Boston Business Journal the hospital was completing a two-year process of implementing Epic's EHR and patient portal, a project costing the hospital $160 million.

"What we've found in the last quarter, which is our triple whammy, is we have a lot of training costs, which are necessary before you go live," Dr. Conroy said.    

According to the Boston Globe report, eight Lahey Health executives are also taking 10 percent pay cuts for the rest of the year to help stabilize financials.

The cuts represent approximately 1 percent of Lahey's workforce of 14,000 and will affect 95 people at Lahey's flagship hospital, 30 people at Winchester (Mass.) Hospital and five people at Beverly (Mass.) Hospital.

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