Conemaugh Health System parent LifePoint Health is turning over some financial management to a new company, which will continue operations in Conemaugh Medical Park facility in Johnstown and offer jobs to all current employees.
Chicago-based health care finance specialist R1 RCM Inc. has been contracted to provide services for about a third of LifePoint hospitals, including operations now handled at the medical park facility in Johnstown.
The company will continue to operate the Johnstown center and all LifePoint employees will be offered jobs with R1 RCM Inc., both companies said in a joint press release.
“The agreement between LifePoint and R1 is designed to enhance patient experience and streamline operations to meet the evolving needs of the health system now and into the future for the communities LifePoint serves,” the press release said.
“As part of the agreement, R1 will continue operations of the revenue cycle functions currently performed by the (business services center) in Johnstown, with the goal of making the location a key delivery center within R1’s shared services network. All (business services center) employees will be offered positions with R1.”
The new management expects to expand local operations. In addition to LifePoint, R1 has partnerships with several other hospitals in the Northeast, said Gary Long, executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
The reputation of the Johnstown center’s workers represents an asset that will lead to more growth, Long said in a telephone interview.
“From the beginning of the engagement with LifePoint Health, we recognized the high-caliber operations being done with this business services center in Johnstown,” Long said. “We are excited about the growth potential for us to utilize them in Johnstown for even more clients.”
The medical park facility has capacity for expansion, which could lead to more jobs at the center, said Jason Ross, LifePoint senior vice president for revenue and network management.
“It’s a good economic development story,” Ross said.
In the press release, R1 President and CEO Joe Flanagan also stressed the potential for growth.
“We are honored to be working with LifePoint Health and the talented team members in Johnstown,” Flanagan said. “Our goal is to continue the growth and success of the business services center and bring more new jobs to the community.”
William Caldwell, Conemaugh Health System market president, said the current employees will maintain equivalent health care, life insurance and 401(K) benefits under the new company.
“Everybody who has a job will continue to have a job,” Caldwell said Wednesday at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s annual public meeting.
“For the community, it’s potentially a great thing. Anything we can do to bring jobs here is a benefit.”
LifePoint, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, has operated the Johnstown center since 2016 on the medical park building’s top floor. Its 154 employees provide revenue cycle management for LifePoint hospitals in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Two other companies provide the service for LifePoint’s other hospitals.
The revenue cycle centers around billing insurance companies and other providers and collecting those payments for hospitals. The operation also bills individual patients for the co-payments and deductible portion of the hospital bills, said Tina Barsallo, LifePoint vice president for revenue cycle operations.
Conemaugh Health System is owned by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a partnership of LifePoint Health and Duke University Health System.