published Friday, May 18th, 2012

Memorial Health Care moves 190 jobs to Conifer Health Solutions

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About 190 Memorial Health Care System employees will begin working for Conifer Health Solutions as part of a 10-year agreement for Conifer to take over billing and collection services at the hospital.

Memorial's parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives, announced that Conifer will manage and operate revenue cycle services for 56 of its 76 hospitals.

"This is another example of health care organizations operating as efficiently as they can by creating for-profit and nonprofit partnerships," Memorial spokeswoman Lisa McCluskey said.

Dallas-based Conifer, a subsidiary of Tenet Healthcare Corp., uses advanced technology to improve and streamline billing processes, McCluskey said.

She said the change would not affect any jobs, and the 190 employees would continue to work in Chattanooga.

She said details still were being worked out.

Catholic Health Initiatives spokesman Michael Romano said the nonprofit provider will ensure that all employees' rights are protected, including years of service and compensation.

"Conifer will help enhance these employees' level of professionalism through training, and it will also offer incentive-based compensation and opportunities for professional growth and promotion," Romano wrote in an email.

As part of the agreement, Catholic Health Initiatives will receive a minority ownership position in Conifer, a new model for Catholic Health Initiatives, Romano said.

In a news release, Conifer said the integration process is expected to be completed within months.

Conifer provides works with more than 330 hospitals and health care providers to manage patient access, revenue integrity, patient financial services and patient communications, the news release said.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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