New York health network loses another IT official following probe into EHR implementation

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | August 19, 2015

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. has lost its second health IT leader amid an investigation into a multiyear, multimillion dollar installation of an electronic health-record system. In 2013, Epic Systems Corp. of Verona, Wis., won a 15-year, $302 million contract to replace HHC's decades-old EHR system. With 11 hospitals, HHC is the largest municipal health network in the nation. The total cost of the health information technology upgrade is estimated at $1.4 billion.

Former Chief Technology Officer Paul Contino was terminated three weeks ago, according to HCC spokesman Ian Michaels. In February, his boss, former Chief Information Officer Bert Robles, who had been managing the project, also was fired, Michaels said. Meanwhile, the hospital system's inspector general has been investigating the project, Michaels confirmed. Two other administrators and seven consultants have also left the project, he said...

The system has yet to reach its targets. For the first six months of its current fiscal year ending in December, it reported an operating loss of $56.3 million on $4.2 billion in revenue. During the same period the prior year, HHC lost $27.7 million loss against $4 billion in revenue. The EHR overhaul is boosted by federal funding. In 2011, HHC announced all of its hospitals had achieved their meaningful-use targets under the federal EHR incentive payment program and the system would use the nearly $200 million in federal dollars to offset the costs of the new EHR.