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Union wants halt to outsourcing of billing operations at Jordan Health

A change involving the workforce at Jordan Health Center in Rochester is angering the union representing workers at that facility.

The union representing some of the employees at Jordan Health says that they have been notified the organization will outsource its billing operation and eliminate ten jobs in the process. Local 1199 of the SEIU says that the billing department is the largest department in the union bargaining unit. 

The union is asking for negotiations over that decision and demanded the center stop any further action to eliminate the jobs.

A statement from Dr. Janice Harbin, the President and CEO of Jordan Health says that like similar health centers around the country, Jordan made the decision to outsource the billing department. She says their strength is healthcare and not billing, and the outsourcing will help keep them focused on their mission. She says smaller organizations like Jordan Health do not have the ability to work complex payment models and therefore are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to billing and getting paid for the services they provide.

“We are simply too small to develop the expertise needed in this ever-changing healthcare environment,” said Harbin. Jordan says that outsourcing billing will also ensure compliance with regulatory and health plan requirements and provide strong audit functions.

The union says that of the ten jobs immediately impacted, nine are held by women and nine are held by minorities and a majority are city residents. The union says the jobs have a base annual salary that ranges from $36,795 to $38,584, and they have health insurance and a pension.

City Council member Mike Patterson says he is “disheartened” by the decision to cut the billing jobs and said, “It is my hope that the management and Board of Jordan Health will pause and seek to work collaboratively with 1199 to preserve the jobs of a predominately minority and female workforce and not strip between $360,000 and $390,000 in yearly wages from these workers.”

The union and management at Jordan Health have been involved in a long-standing labor dispute over contract negotiations.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.