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Banner Health throwing away Epic EHR for Cerner’s




Phoenix-based Banner Health announced plans to drop Epic’s $115 million electronic health record system at its two Tucson hospitals and will replace it  with Cerner’s platform, says the Arizona Daily Star.

Becker’s Hospital Review says that the  hospitals — Banner-University Medical Center Tucson and Banner-University Medical Center South — adopted Epic’s system while part of the former University of Arizona Health Network, which Banner acquired March 1.

“The hospitals went live on Epic’s EHR in 2013, and in 2014 they reported significant operating losses in the 2014 fiscal year, such as an having to spend an extra $32 million in unbudgeted costs, according to the report. The total investment for the EHRs reached $115 million,” reports Becker’s.

“Much of the costs were due to a delay in implementation, as the scheduled go-live date was Sept. 1, 2013, but the system wasn’t operational until Nov. 1. During that time, the hospitals experienced extra costs related to additional training and support….”

“Additionally, an April 2014 report financial report to the UA board of directors said $6.8 million of the losses in fiscal year 2014 were attributed to physicians devoting time learning how to use the new system and a decrease in patient volumes, according to the report.”



Harsher new world for academic medical centers



Modern Healthcare sees the merger of the University of Arizona Health Network and Banner Health as an example of responding to the tough new challenges facing academic medical centers.

”Academic centers, with their research and education missions, long have been high-cost institutions, but have been able to cover their added operating expenses through higher payment rates. Under public and private reform initiatives, where the goal is to reduce costs, these sprawling downtown hospitals are fast becoming bloated relics of another era.”Another example of the consolidate or die situation is that Emory University is talking with WellStar Health System about combining their systems  in metropolitan Atlanta.

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