PeaceHealth announces more outsourcing

Nearly 100 jobs, 35 in Vancouver, to be cut

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter

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PeaceHealth is laying off nearly 100 employees whose work will be outsourced to two health information management companies.

The Vancouver-based health care provider is expanding its current relationship with EDCO Health Information Solutions, a Missouri-based scanning and indexing software company, and entering into a new agreement with Ciox Health, a Georgia-based health information management company. As a result, 95 positions will be eliminated across the three-state PeaceHealth system; 35 positions are at Vancouver facilities.

“As part of our commitment to our patients and communities, PeaceHealth continues to enhance how we deliver clinical excellence and compassionate care with the very best value,” PeaceHealth officials said in a written statement. “To further this goal, we are partnering with industry-leading health information management providers to standardize how we perform medical record scanning, document management and release of information functions. These partnerships are intended to enhance care by making the digitization, consolidation and secure movement of health information as efficient and fast as possible for our patients, partners and caregivers.”

The expanded partnership with EDCO will result in the elimination of 60 positions providing document management services at PeaceHealth facilities. PeaceHealth already uses EDCO technology at select sites and is significantly expanding its partnership to standardize digital scanning processes, said Jeremy Rush, PeaceHealth spokesman.

The EDCO implementation is a phased processed that will begin in the next 30 to 45 days. The job cuts will be effective in mid-November, Rush said.

Those affected by layoffs can apply for 15 new positions PeaceHealth will have open across its system.

As a result of the new agreement with Ciox Health, 35 jobs across the PeaceHealth system will be eliminated. Those layoffs, affecting people who coordinate release of information, will be effective in early- to mid-January, Rush said.

Ciox will have about 24 positions available, most of which will be located at the PeaceHealth Systems Services Center in Vancouver.

Latest in series

This is the latest in a series of moves this year at PeaceHealth that hand over internal operations to outside companies.

In August, PeaceHealth laid off 30 medical coders and contracted with a Texas-based software company, T-System Inc., for the services.

And earlier this year, PeaceHealth announced it was handing over some of its laboratory operations to New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics, resulting in about 500 layoffs systemwide.

The two organizations announced in February that Quest would acquire the outreach laboratory services operations of PeaceHealth Laboratories (services in all outside clinics) and would manage 11 labs, which PeaceHealth would continue to own, within the PeaceHealth medical centers in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. That deal was finalized this spring.

“A key part of our mission is a commitment to continuous improvement,” Rush said. “Like many health care organizations in a time of health care transformation, PeaceHealth is always looking for ways it can improve efficiencies and advance our safety and quality imperatives, and, ultimately, provide the best possible care for our communities.”