Sonoma West Medical Center cuts 25 jobs amid revenue cycle overhaul

Sebastopol, Calif.-based Sonoma West Medical Center has laid off 16 percent of its administrative staff, affecting 25 jobs, according to The North Bay Business Journal.

The layoffs, which are expected to save Sonoma West $200,000 a month, come about three weeks after the hospital signed an agreement for Pipeline Health to manage its operations. Pipeline owns and operates hospitals in California and Washington, D.C., and also provides advisory services with regards to revenue cycle, supply chain, financial operations and capital strategy.

Sonoma West Medical Center operated at an $800,000 loss in June, Robert Heinemeier, CFO of Pipeline and interim CFO of Sonoma West, told The North Bay Business Journal. However, Pipeline COO Luke Tharasri, who is serving as interim CEO of Sonoma West, believes the hospital could be operating in the black in about three months.

A main focus of the hospital's turnaround plan is revenue cycle management. After discovering a number of issues that were postponing insurance payments, Pipeline began using its leverage to hold the company that manages the hospital revenue cycle accountable. That has led to an increase in collections, according to the report. 

Under its new management, the hospital is also working to improve coding and billing.

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