Oregon hospital plans layoffs amid RCM outsourcing

Coos Bay, Ore.-based Bay Area Hospital plans to layoff several workers in non-patient-facing roles as it outsources its revenue cycle management operations, a spokesperson for the hospital confirmed to Becker's.

Twenty-seven positions will be affected by the transition. 

The decision was prompted by various challenges, including hiring locally qualified staff, competing against a nationally based remote workforce and a lack of funds to invest in software and system upgrades, according to the hospital. 

"The primary reason is to gain access to the highly trained workforce that has increasingly been migrating to vendors specializing in this highly complex function," CFO Mary Lou Tate said in an email shared with Becker's. "Many vendors have access to a complete set of tools including software, training and support (including AI technology) required to manage the complex and rapidly changing revenue cycle function for healthcare."

Bay Area Hospital said it needed a significantly longer period of time to hire staff and build the infrastructure needed to keep RCM functions in-house than what is needed to continue its operational turnaround plan in line with banking requirements. 

"Despite truly commendable improvements by our internal teams over the past months, we could not recruit new staff, train and upgrade software and our processes quickly enough to meet the magnitude of the financial improvement required," Ms. Tate said. 

The full transition to the new vendor, which the hospital has not named, is expected to begin in May and conclude in October.

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