Intermountain Healthcare announces 2,300 employees transitioning to new employer; employees worried they may lose jobs

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 21:06:02-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Intermountain Healthcare announced that 2,300 employees will be switching over to a new employer, and that has some of their workers concerned about their future.

On April 8, 2,300 Intermountain employees will be transitioning to a new employer called R1 RCM.

This impacts workers who handle billing, insurance and health records.

Intermountain leaders say they’ll add several hundred more jobs.

“This is a job growth opportunity in Utah. At the same time, it's an opportunity for us to improve our efficiency and better manage health care costs for our community,” said Rob Allen, Sr. VP & COO for Intermountain Healthcare.

Fox 13 spoke to an Intermountain employee who did not want to be identified. She says leaders notified them about the restructuring back in November and sent out the email Wednesday morning.

She felt blindsided.

“There's several of us who work for benefits, not just the paycheck, and none of that has been explained yet," she said.

Allen says employees will be given the opportunity to be employed by R1 at the same salary and won’t have to reapply. But some employees are skeptical. They also worry R1 may outsource jobs overseas.

“These employees are employed in a third-world country," the employee said. "They have access to personal health information, all medical records. All financial records.”

Allen shot down that claim.

“All of our employees will be employed at the service center that is being developed in Salt Lake City,” Allen said.

Reporter: “So, not in India?”

“Our employees are working here,” Allen said.

Allen says he understands employees are nervous about changes.

“It's like getting a pink slip; you're told yes, you may have a job. Well, how, when, where, why?” the employee told Fox 13.

But Allen assures employees this transition is necessary.

Reporter: “The word is transition, but would you call it outsourcing?”

“So, we call it a partnership," Allen replied. "This really is more than just shifting work. This is about linking arms with an organization who specializes in this work."

When asked if more restructuring at Intermountain is expected and if other divisions could be impacted down the road, Allen told Fox 13 they’re constantly exploring their options to help keep health care costs down.