After months of extensive analysis, Grays Harbor Community Hospital will begin subcontracting with U.S.-based AVEC Health Solutions for billing services beginning Jan. 12, 2018. Director of Marketing and Public Relations at GHCH, Nancee M. Long said in a press release on Friday that “This difficult decision will require a layoff of 21 employees, many of whom have been with the organization for many years.”
Although the move is considered cost neutral, the goal is to ensure that patient billing is processed efficiently and accurately and to increase cash flow to the organization. “Hospital billing is a vital part of the financial success of an organization,” said Tom Jensen, CEO Grays Harbor Community Hospital. “We find ourselves at the point where we need to bring in a more specialized service to effectively attend to our patient’s billing concerns.”
Smaller, rural hospitals across the country are finding that they must use outside professional services for these positions as the work is very labor intensive. “We are sorry to lose these colleagues, but know this move is in the best interest of our patients,” Jensen stated. There has long been concerns in the community about billing delays and inaccuracies and the hospital hopes to alleviate these concerns and shorten the billing cycle.
Because of confidentiality issues, the sensitive nature of this transition and federal standards that must be adhered to, the employees will be paid for the next nine weeks and will also receive severances dependent on years of service. The employees affected have been communicated with over a period of time as to possible outcomes of poor financial performance of the hospital and will continue to be counseled and assisted at their request.
All billing concerns can be addressed at either campus, bills can be paid at either campus, and calls to the billing office will be answered in a timely manner. This change will not affect patient care or services our community uses for health-related needs.