Trinity Health begins major restructuring around its move to standardized billing system


Catholic health giant Trinity Health is making some big changes to centralize its billing processes. 

The Livonia, Michigan-based health system announced it is making immediate long term change to its patient billing processes by replacing its current EHR and revenue cycle applications with a single common platform and its related applications.

It is also creating centralized patient billing service centers — in Kentwood, Michigan, in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and in Columbus, Ohio—to serve its health system facilities across 22 states. 

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RELATED: Hospital earnings report: Trinity Health income jumps despite EHR expense

The change will result in workforce restructuring with about 1,650 employees facing relocation or the loss of their job. Trinity said the changes are aimed at improving patient experiences and efficiency.

It is part of a broader EHR switch announced in 2018 in which Trinity recorded impairment charges of $107.8 million tied to its decision to move to a single electronic health record and revenue cycle management system platform.

"Trinity Health is transforming at the clinical and administrative levels for the benefit of the people and communities we serve," said Michael Slubowski, president and chief operating officer for Trinity Health in a statement. "We are committed to supporting our teams and colleagues through the changes, all of which position us for improved patient experiences, an information technology structure that enables us to provide coordinated care to patients across the system and increased efficiency to help make care more affordable."

Officials said the changes are expected to create a simpler experience by making charges, cost and prices more transparent and by simplifying the billing and payment process. It is also part of a shift to a fully integrated health record.

According to Trinity, about 450 Information Technology employees throughout the system will be offered employment with Leidos, the system's application management services (AMS) partner. Those who accept will continue supporting Trinity Health's EHR and revenue cycle applications.

"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," said Marcus Shipley, senior vice president and chief information officer.

RELATED: Industry Voices—Beyond benefit design, provider billing policies hit families hardest

Trinity Health facilities will maintain revenue function locally until shortly before their respective transitions to the unified patient billing services platform by 2022, officials said.

"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 Cynthia Fry, senior vice president, chief revenue officer in a statement.

Those employees who cannot move or transition to other jobs will be provided severance pay and outplacement services, officials said.

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