New York City public hospitals investing $289 million in Epic revenue cycle software

NYC Health + Hospitals, the operator of public hospitals and clinic in New York, announced it will “implement new, advanced revenue cycle technology” from Epic at a cost of $289 million over the next five years.

The hospital system expects the investment will pay off with an annual boost of $142 million by capturing an additional 5 percent of adjusted patient revenue.

“This information technology system is an essential investment that will pay for itself in a couple of years and provide the IT foundation for more advanced population health efforts,” NYC Health + Hospitals Interim President and CEO Stan Brezenoff said in a statement. “In addition to its impact on our revenue, it’s also a fundamental component of our health system’s transformation to more streamlined and efficient operations. The result will be a greatly improved user and patient experience.”

The press release touts the advantages of having a common revenue cycle platform across the system’s 11 hospitals, five long-term care facilities and more than 70 community clinics. NYC Health + Hospitals also says it will “integrate seamlessly” into the Epic electronic health record system which it began implementing in 2016.

The $764 million rollout hasn’t been without problems. The chief medical information officer at the system’s Queens and Elmhurst hospitals, Charles Perry, MD, quit just before the implementation began over concerns about patient safety, claims which the hospital system quickly denied. By the end of 2016, president and CEO Ram Raju, MD, was looking for a new job after needing a $337 million cash infusion from the city and facing a budget gap of $6 billion through 2020.

Despite those financial challenges, NYC Health + Hospitals expects to begin rollout of the revenue cycle software by the final quarter of 2018, with the help of $150 million in city funds and $139 million from its own operating costs, pending board approval.

“Having revenue and clinical processes in a single system will make a big difference in productivity for the largest public health system in the country,” Judy Faulkner, CEO and founder of Epic founder, said in a statement. “With more than a million patients treated annually, this critical institution will provide improved care for the people of New York City.”