University of Utah Healthcare spokesman Chris Nelson says the recent decision to let go of 50 employees and outsource their work was a decision driven by “efficiency” not by the “economy.”
Nelson says that the decision to let go 50 employees out of the more than 300 in the provider’s Patient Financial Services department was a move he says that the hospital was over due to make. He says these positions included medical coders as well as positions that can be replaced by automated services for posting payments. “Most healthcare companies are outsourcing these positions,” Nelson says. “If anything we’re probably a little bit behind the times.”
The work involved in payment postings Nelson says will be outsourced to Wells Fargo which has automated processes for that kind of work. The medical coding, or the work done by employees who transcribe physicians notes into codes for the hospital, will be shifted to a South Jordan company MediConnect Global. MediConnect, according to its Website organizes and houses medical records from “millions of facilities and provider locations across six continents.”
Nelson says that as a global company they do employ overseas staffers to maintain 24-hour service. Nelson says that overall the hospital’s performing well financially and that the move to outsource this work was driven by a need to be efficient and primed for future growth—not out of any financial uncertainty.
“It’s always hard to reduce your workforce but the major point I would make is this is not economy driven this is efficiency driven,” Nelson says. “In order to serve the community and provide the best healthcare possible we have to be as efficient on the business side of things as we can.”