UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn Attacks Red Ink With Balanced Budget Plan

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 12:00 am  

UAMS Chancellor Dr. Dan Rahn said he has a plan to slash expenses and increase revenue that should generate $40 million for the campus during the next 18 months. (Photo by Jason Burt)

“Those two combined have had a negative impact on us of about a little bit more than $10 million,” Rahn said.

Still, the UAMS hospital isn’t the biggest source of UAMS’ operating loss, Rahn said.

The UAMS Medical Center’s operating loss was $1.6 million in the first six months of its fiscal year, compared with an operating loss of $418,800 in the same period a year ago.

“It’s the campus expenses, … the research expenses and this depreciation issue that’s tipping the institution as a whole into negative territory,” he said.

Electronic Health Records

One of the ways UAMS hopes to generate more revenue is through its electronic health records system.

In 2012, David Miller, chief information officer for UAMS, told Arkansas Business that he estimated the implementation of an electronic health record system would cost UAMS $87 million to $90 million.

Since then, the total price for the system from Epic Systems Corp. of Verona, Wis., has increased by more than 10 percent, to $99 million.

In July, UAMS started using the Epic system in limited areas such as its clinics, outpatient registration and professional billing for doctors, UAMS’ audit said.

It was supposed to be rolled out to the entire UAMS campus on March 1, but the date was pushed back to May 1, which caused the price to rise.

That two-month holdup resulted in additional contract and resource costs, UAMS spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said in an email to Arkansas Business.

“We made the decision to delay Epic implementation in order to provide more intensive training for physicians and staff and allow them more time to practice on the system,” she said.



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