While other EHR vendors have undergone layoffs in recent months, Epic has gone the opposite direction, expanding hiring and building new facilities.
How did the Wisconsin-based company do it? By remaining privately owned and not overhiring, its leaders say.
“We hire very carefully,” a spokesperson emailed Becker’s. “We make sure to stay within our hiring goals and not to hire beyond the work that we know is ahead of us.”
Epic is constructing three new buildings at its 260-acre Verona, Wis., headquarters to make way for an expansion of 1,700 employees this year. The company has about 13,000 staffers worldwide (with most of them located at the Wisconsin campus).
By contrast, Oracle Cerner has reportedly been laying off hundreds of employees and freezing promotions and raises. Athenahealth, a smaller EHR vendor, let go of 178 employees in early 2023. Meanwhile, Big tech companies such as Amazon and Meta Platforms have been undergoing workforce reductions in the five-figures.
In a March 23 story on the layoffs at Oracle Cerner, Bloomberg noted that Oracle is “famous for its cost cuts and high profits.”
Unlike Oracle, which bought Cerner last June for $28.4 billion, Epic has remained privately held since its 1979 inception.
“Publicly traded companies might feel the need to focus on quarterly earnings,” the Epic spokesperson said. “By laying people off, their earnings may be greater (at least temporarily), and their stock value may increase. Since Epic isn’t publicly traded, we don’t have those pressures.”
The spokesperson noted that the company’s voluntary turnover average over the last three years, 11 percent, was lower than the information (19 percent), healthcare (29 percent) and private (34 percent) sectors as a whole, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Former Epic employees recently described working for the company as a demanding but valuable experience. Epic is also famous for the charm and amenities at its rural headquarters, which include a slide, treehouse and small farm, to go with spaces themed after “Harry Potter,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Wizard of Oz.”
Meditech, the nation’s third-largest EHR vendor by hospital market share (and also privately held), told Becker’s it has beaten the larger tech-industry odds as well, adding more than 600 staff members in 2022 and hiring in “strategic areas” during the first quarter of 2023.
“As with every company, we monitor the business and economic conditions of the industry and will adjust plans as needed to ensure we remain strongly positioned to service our customers and ensure their success while remaining a financially strong organization,” a spokesperson emailed.