Southcoast cuts 95 more jobs after $100M Epic EHR installation

New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health is laying off 95 employees, and the three-hospital system cites its $100 million Epic EHR rollout as a contributing factor, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The cuts represent 1 percent of Southcoast's workforce and will happen across all staff levels in the system's hospitals.

Southcoast launched the Epic EHR at three hospitals, two urgent care centers and more than 400 physician offices in 2015. However, during the implementation process, Southcoast faced financial troubles partly due to the costs associated with the EHR project and ultimately had to lay off 105 employees between October 2014 and January 2015.

Training costs for the Epic system contributed to Southcoast's $9.9 million operating loss in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, which ended Dec. 31, and the system is facing similar financial troubles in the current quarter.

"These financial challenges are attributable to higher-than-expected operating expenses, largely a result of our Epic implementation," Southcoast President and CEO Keith Hovan wrote in a letter to employees. "During the first two quarters of this fiscal year, revenue has grown positively at a rate of 4 percent — a significant accomplishment, particularly given the lack of a flu season. However, expenses have grown at 6 percent during that time, which is an untenable variance that must be corrected."

Southcoast spokesman Peter Cohenno wouldn't detail the jobs being eliminated, but he told the Boston Business Journal that affected employees will be encouraged to apply for open positions throughout the system.

More articles on healthcare layoffs:

CEO Chris Van Gorder discusses layoffs at Scripps Health
Following mega losses, Presence to cut 250 jobs

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