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Enterprise EHR, RCM Necessitates Staff Changes at Trinity Health

EHR and RCM integration at Trinity Health is driving the health system’s approach to staffing IT and billing services.

Epic EHR integration

Source: Getty Images

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- The switch to an enterprise-wide EHR and revenue cycle management platform is changing the approach at Trinity Health to billing and IT staffing.

Last May, the 94-hospital health system spanning 22 states announced its decision to move to a unified EHR and RCM platform from Epic Systems to support the delivery of patient-centered care.

“People deserve customized and convenient health care experiences, including simple access to a complete health and billing record,” said President & COO Mike Slubowski. “At the same time, physicians and clinicians need tools that make it easier to practice medicine. We look forward to implementing a single, enterprise solution enabling us to deliver excellent, people-centered care.”

“We are confident a single platform will enable new levels of innovation, consumer focus, clinical and business integration and efficiency to help us build our people-centered health system,” Slubowski added. “It will also help align people, process and technology to create a culture in which people-centered care becomes the standard way we care for the communities we serve.”

As it turns out, that alignment of people, process, and technology is leading to significant staffing changes at the health system.

The first impacts Trinity Information Services staff. An estimated 450 IT staff received an offer to join Leidos, the organization tasked with application management services for the Epic EHR and RCM implementation.

“We realize that our shift to a single platform will affect valued colleagues who support our legacy applications today,” explain Trinity Health Senior Vice President and CIO Marcus Shipley. “Their work is a critical component of our smooth transition and we are glad to have found a way to provide these colleagues with better long-term career and professional development opportunities.”

The second change is much more far-reaching. As the health system approaches the completion of the transition of patient services, revenue cycle management services will be consolidated. Trinity Health will move from local services to three patient service centers.

“For approximately 1,200 affected revenue cycle colleagues, the changes could mean relocating for work, if they choose, as well as new work responsibilities and changes in reporting relationships,” the organization stated.

“As the changes are implemented,” it continued, “billing and payment operations will be centralized to locations in Kentwood, Michigan (near Grand Rapids); Farmington Hills, Michigan (near Detroit); and Columbus, Ohio. These locations were selected after careful consideration of variables including the presence of Trinity Health member hospitals, real estate costs, mean wages and cost of living comparisons.”

In the announcement, Trinity Health noted that the health system added an estimated 7,700 position over the past 3 years and spent approximately $3.7 billion on facilities, technologies, and services necessary for its vision of a patient-centered approach.

“We are transforming our revenue cycle to be more people-centered, after hearing from our patients that health care bills significantly impact their lives and that the billing experience frustrates and confuses them,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Cynthia Fry.

“We are using a thoughtful, comprehensive process to ensure that we support all of these colleagues — no matter how they are ultimately affected — throughout this transition. We know individuals face complex decision-making processes related to potential relocations and job changes, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them,” she added.

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