Hospital workers eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance after jobs were outsourced

Workers at Grays Harbor Community Hospital who had their jobs eliminated as part of a restructuring process are now eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance because their jobs were outsourced to a foreign country.

In a recent judgment from the U.S. Department of Labor, former employees who lost their jobs are eligible for assistance.

The medical billing department and the employees who worked within it were taken off the Grays Harbor Public Hospital District #2 staff as part of recommendations

In order to be eligible, a number of criteria needed to be met. This includes having a significant number of workers being impacted, that the workers’ positiontions were replaced by a foreign company,

In the petition for assistance, it states that the hospital “had contracted coding, transcription and billing work to an outside entity, Vee technologies and now AVEC Healthcare Solutions. Affected workers report elements of the hospital billing being performed in India”

In the official determination, the Dept. of Labor states;

“All workers of Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Health Information Management (Medical Records) Division, Medical Coder Unit, Governed by Grays Harbor Public Hospital, District #2, including on-site leased workers from Accountable Healthcare Nursing, Advance Medical Personal Services, Advantage Rn, Allcare Medical Services, Amn Healthcare, Anders Group, Aureus Cardiopulmonary, Axis Provider Inc., Aya Healthcare, Cariant Health Partners, Cell Staff Llc, Continuum Medical Staffing, Genisis Medical Staffing/Elite Medical, Hctec Partners, Integrated Healthcare Solutions, Llc, Lrs Healthcare, Maxim Staffing Solutions, Medical Staffing Solutions, Medpro Staffing, National Staffing Solutions, Newworx Health, Nightingale Nurses, Onestaff Medical, Platinum Enterprise Solutions, Professional Placement Resources/Ppr Talent Management Group, Ranstad Healthcare, R Visions Llc, Soiliant Health, Supplemental Health Care, Talemed, Titan Nurse Staffing, Llc, Totalmed Staffing, Inc., Triage Nursing, Llc, Trustaff, Inc., Valley Healthcare Staffing, Diamond Health, And Healogicx Wound Care & Hyperbaric Services, Inc., Aberdeen, Washington (Ta-W-93,602) and all workers of Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Patient Accounts Department, Billing Unit, governed by Grays Harbor Public Hospital, District #2, Aberdeen, Washington (Ta-W-93,602a), who became Totally or partially separated from employment on or after February 26, 2017 through two years from the date of certification, and all workers in the group threatened with total or partial separation from employment on the date of certification through two years from the date of certification, are eligible to apply for Adjustment Assistance Under Chapter 2 Of Title Ii Of The Trade Act Of 1974, as amended.”

 

Eligible workers have until November 28, 2020 to apply on Petition #93602.

To apply, individual workers must then apply for benefits through the state workforce agency.

WASHINGTON

  • Sue Keltner

TAA State Coordinator

Washington State Employment Security Department

1570 Irving St. SW

Tumwater, WA 98512

Phone: (360) 570-4265

E-mail: SKeltner@esd.wa.gov

  • Amy Seidlitz

TRA – Coordinator

Washington State Employment Security Department

670 Woodland Square Loop

Lacey, WA 98503-1079

Phone: (360) 438-4076

E-mail: ASeidlitz@esd.wa.gov

Website: https://www.esd.wa.gov

Your local American Jobs Center can be found here.

 

More information at the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers website: https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/


In January 2017, the hospital made the decision to outsource the works, saying “The employees affected have been communicated with over a period of time as to possible outcomes of poor financial performance of the hospital and will continue to be counseled and assisted at their request.”

Nancee Long, Marketing and Public Relations Director added;

“GHCH invested more than $120k in the education and training of the business office staff alone since November of 2016”

The employees received severances dependent on years of service.

In a release at the time, the hospital stated;

“After months of extensive analysis, Grays Harbor Community Hospital will begin subcontracting with U.S.-based AVEC Health Solutions for billing services beginning Jan. 12, 2018. This difficult decision will require a layoff of 21 employees, many of whom have been with the organization for many years.”

They told KXRO that the change would be “cost neutral” with a goal “to ensure that patient billing is processed efficiently and accurately and to increase cash flow to the organization”.

“Hospital billing is a vital part of the financial success of an organization,” said Tom Jensen, CEO Grays Harbor Community Hospital. “We find ourselves at the point where we need to bring in a more specialized service to effectively attend to our patient’s billing concerns.”

The hospital states that other rural hospitals use similar services.

KXRO learned that Summit Pacific Medical Center also outsources their billing. The hospital district lists CBO Solution of Seattle as their billing office.

CBO Solution describes themselves as “Your outsourced Revenue Cycle Solution”

CEO Tom Jensen is quoted in the release, saying;

“We are sorry to lose these colleagues, but know this move is in the best interest of our patients,”

The hospital states that there have been concerns about billing delays and inaccuracies, and their hope is this change can remedy those issues and “shorten the billing cycle”.

In a statement from UFCW 21 at the time, they said;

“We believe taking money from Grays Harbor taxpayers and exporting it out of our community is bad public policy and represents a failure of management to develop the process and training to allow our employees to succeeded”.

“We believe exporting jobs and the money they spend in our local economy exacerbates our chronically high unemployment and puts increase stress on local business’s dependent on their purchases. Many of this employees have loyally worked at GHCH for over a decade and find this devastating.”

In previous discussions with GHCH, they told KXRO that numerous changes would be made after the start of the year to recoup costs lost in reimbursements from Medicare/Medicaid patients and the rising costs of medical procedures.

In these statements, they said this could include reducing staffing through layoffs, reduced hours, attrition, and outsourcing.

Previously, the hospital outsourced their Health Information Management department as well as announced a 10% reduction in salary for all supervisors, including Administrative staff.

Prior to 2010, the facility was consistently showing profits according to Tom Jensen in 2014.

He said at that time that a lot of the problems came after 2008 when local mills began closing and less people were under private insurance plans.

 

 

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