The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will cut about 800 to 900 people from its payroll, or 5% of its workforce, as it tries to recover from financial losses after implementing its electronic health record.
The Houston-based cancer center reported significant losses in fiscal 2016 partly because of a difficult adaptation of its new Epic Systems network, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Dan Fontaine, chief financial officer of MD Anderson, said physician productivity suffered last year as they struggled to adapt to the new EHR system. MD Anderson went live on its massive Epic EHR implementation last March.
Physicians and nurses won't be affected by the layoffs. Cuts will be among administrative positions such as billing employees.
MD Anderson reported a $266 million operating loss on $4 billion in revenue at the end of 2016.
In remarks to the media Thursday, Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson, said that the system must further optimize the EHR network to realize productivity gains. "We are seeing a recovery trend, but more time is needed,” he added.
It's not the first time MD Anderson has reported losses as a result of the Epic rollout. The center reported a 76.9% decrease, or $ 405 million loss, in adjusted income for the 10 months ended June 30, 2016. The system attributed the loss to “an increase in expenses combined with a decrease in patient revenues as a result of implementation of the Epic EHR.”
MD Anderson employs about 20,000 researchers and clinicians.