Ascension, Sutter & more: 5 systems laying off IT workers, outsourcing jobs this year 

From job cuts to new outsourcing opportunities, hospitals and health systems are changing up their IT employment strategies to cope with financial pressures from the pandemic. 

Here are five health systems that initiated layoffs or outsourced contracts among their IT divisions this year, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review

1. St. Louis-based Ascension's IT subsidiary, Ascension Technologies, in May said it plans to lay off about 651 remote workers this year. The company said it will begin working with a third party to take over the tech support for EHR and revenue cycle management responsibilities its employees had been performing. Ascension Technologies said it is planning the layoffs between Aug. 8 and Dec. 10. 

2. Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, N.Y., in May tapped Optum to provide IT and revenue cycle management services. As a result of the partnership, 500 Bassett Healthcare Network employees performing in-house functions will have the opportunity to transition to Optum, as the company takes over Bassett's RCM services, IT services and data and analytics capabilities. 

3. Baptist Health South Florida ended a revenue cycle management agreement it began in 2018 and will move about 600 employees in-house, the Coral Gables-based health system said May 20. Baptist formed Health System Solutions in 2018 as a joint venture with Chicago-based Navigant Consulting, which was acquired by GuideHouse in 2019. The venture was designed to offer RCM services to healthcare providers, beginning with Baptist Health South Florida, excluding its hospitals in Palm Beach County. 

4. In February, Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health said it would be laying off 277 employees, most of whom work in IT. The 277 jobs being eliminated include 92 analysts, 43 engineers and 28 project managers. The health system cited a prioritization of direct patient care while "mitigating the financial impacts of the pandemic," as the motivation behind the cuts. 

5. Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health in January said it will outsource or retrain 1,700 employees who work in IT, billing, revenue cycle management and other support services. The health system said outsourcing the finance and IT jobs and other support services will help it improve efficiencies and focus on reducing costs in noncore business areas. 


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