Another NC Hospital Falls To Epic EHR Implementation Costs

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | November 14, 2013

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center isn’t the only North Carolina hospital struggling with poor credit ratings and huge revenue gaps after attempting the installation of an Epic EHR system.  Its neighbor in Greensboro, Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, just received a “negative” outlook from Standard & Poors (S&P) due in part to the $130 million spent on purchasing, implementing, and maintaining their new Epic infrastructure.

While the hospital retained its AA rating on NC Medical Care Commission’s fixed-rate series 2011A bonds, the downgrade is a significant blow to the hospital’s reputation, and comes after the elimination of 300 jobs in the past year.

“The negative outlook reflects our view of the deterioration in Cone Health’s operating performance and in some aspects of its balance sheet over the last two fiscal years,” credit analyst Karl Propst said. “Some metrics are now weaker than AA medians.  However, because management believes that fiscal 2013 was a transitional year, and because we believe that management has a clearly outlined plan to restore a positive operating margin in fiscal 2014, we continue to view the AA rating as appropriate.”