HMC to outsource 89 jobs
The hospitals' existing employees are to be considered for hiring by the new company
Hawaii Medical Center
said yesterday it is cutting 89 jobs in a move to outsource office and call center functions to Tennessee-based Perot Systems Corp.
by late June.
The layoffs come less than a week after HMC hired medical-finance specialist Salim Hasham to cut losses by finding internal revenue sources and restructuring operations.
Employees were given 60 days notice that their jobs will be cut on June 28. Some union employees may be eligible for reassignment to other HMC positions under collective bargaining agreements. The cuts include 61 union and 28 non-bargaining employees.
The Laborers' International Union, Local 368, and Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Union, Local 996, which represent the workers, did not return calls seeking comment.
The contract will provide "significant new sources of revenue and an improved cash position" for the Liliha and Ewa hospitals, which haven't been profitable since CHA LLC and the 130-member Hawaii Physicians Group took over in January 2007. HMC purchased the former St. Francis Hospitals that month. The company's initial restructuring led to layoffs of nearly 150 employees of a total 1,250-member work force.
"HMC has not taken this step lightly," said Hasham, former managing director of Healthserv Inc. in Calgary. "The positions of dedicated HMC employees must be eliminated -- not because they have performed poorly -- but because it is necessary to help save the hospitals."
He declined to say how much the cost-cutting measure would save the company or if more layoffs are planned. The company is also spending between $4 million and $6 million on information-technology upgrades and renovations and is looking to lease about 70,000 square feet of space to a long-term care provider.
Perot Systems will give current employees strong consideration for the new jobs and the pay rates for the positions will be comparable to those being eliminated, Hasham said. Some positions that require face-to-face contact will be staffed in-house while segments such as bill collection will be done offsite, he said.
HMC said it will provide assistance to displaced employees during the transition.
Perot Systems will handle business office, call center, health information management and admissions departments as well as insurance reimbursements and medical coding.
"They are in a position to do what we need to get done much, much more effectively," Hasham said. "The value added is clearly significant."