In an effort to cut costs, Intermountain will transfer 2,300 staffers to revenue cycle firm R1 RCM

Intermountain says moving staff to a revenue cycle management firm's payroll could save $70 million over the next three years. (Pixabay)

Intermountain Healthcare will transition 2,300 staff members to a different employer, a move that could save the organization $70 million over three years. 

Intermountain announced that it would partner with revenue cycle management firm R1 RCM to "improve efficiency for patients and help slow the rise of medical costs" by moving 2,300 non-clinical employees to R1's payroll by the end of the year. 

The employees who will be transitioned to R1 RCM—registration clerks, billing staff and employees in scheduling—can keep their current jobs and rate of pay, and most will continue at their current worksite, Intermountain said. The transition will begin in April. 

The system estimated that the changes could save $70 million over the next three years, and anticipates that hundreds of new jobs will be created when R1 expands its Utah operations to include an innovation and development center. 

"The employees affected by this change are being well-cared for," Robert Allen, Intermountain's chief operating officer, said in the announcement. "We've made every effort to ensure their jobs and incomes are secure, while at the same time balancing the need to make changes that benefit our patients and communities." 

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Despite those assurances, some employees worry that it portends changes to their benefits or where they work. 

An employee who spoke under the condition of anonymity told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City that staff members were notified in November of the changes, and that a number of questions have yet to be answered. 

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

She also expressed concern about being shipped to a foreign country for work, an issue Allen dismissed in an interview with the TV station. 

Allen said in an announcement that Intermountain is a "strong and stable" organization, but the changes will allow it to better serve Utah patients by reducing costs.