MANSFIELD — OhioHealth has announced that 637 jobs would be eliminated in Information Technology and Revenue Cycle Management over the next three to five months.

The company made the announcement to employees on Thursday morning. 

Colin Yoder, director of media and public relations, could not specify how these layoffs might affect the Richland County area. 

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a breakdown for Mansfield and Shelby (hospitals), but I can tell you that the bulk of these positions are based in central Ohio,” Yoder said. 

The announcement was made to affected employees via a video call with OhioHealth’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jim Weeast. 

“Your role elimination is not a reflection of you,” Weeast said in the video message. 

Rather, the healthcare system said the eliminations are meant to continue providing the “best possible patient experience” by engaging external partners to provide the aforementioned technology services currently provided in-house. 

“This strategy will enable us to secure the skills, technology, expertise and innovation required to deliver a best-in-class, patient-centric, personalized healthcare experience without taking away from investments we are already making at the bedside,” OhioHealth said in a statement. 

Of the 637 jobs being eliminated, 567 are in information technology and 70 are in a unit called revenue cycle that handles billing, coding and accounts receivable. 

OhioHealth stated that employees affected by the change would be supported via outplacement support, a job fair specifically for those displaced, temporary salary and benefits continuation after their employment ends, and upskill training for those in information technology. 

“We have also been intentional in providing every person with as much notice as possible that their role will be eliminated. Our goal is to support every person as they transition to their next opportunity,” the statement reads. 

Revenue cycle associates will still be employed until Nov. 4, 2022. Information technology associates will be employed until Jan. 3, 2023. 

These positions will be outsourced to the professional services firm Accenture to provide IT support, and the health system will expand its relationship with AGS Health to support revenue cycle management. The IT team will have a staff of 128, while revenue cycle will retain a staff of 1,390. 

“Accenture will be running and maintaining our core technology platforms, both from an application and infrastructure standpoint, and will also provide new skills and capabilities related to our digital data and analytics operations to enable us to become an even more patient-centric organization,” Yoder said. 

“AGS Health will expand their work with us to take on hospital coding and accounts receivable functions.” 

An email to affected associates from Weeast, Chief Operating Officer John McWhorter, and Chief Administrative Officer Johnni Beckel said the “why” is always about patient care. 

“We’ve realized the best way to deliver in IT and RCM is to leverage the tools, technology and global talent pool external partners can provide,” the email said. “These are areas that continuously have rapid growth. By leveraging the deep expertise of our partners, we will keep pace with these rapid changes in a better way than we could on our own.

“Decisions to adjust the way we work – especially if it impacts the roles of our associates – are never taken lightly,” the email said. “In alignment with our values, we’re providing support to the associates impacted by this decision. Our goal is to assist these associates in their transition to their next opportunity – whatever that may be for them.” 

The last major layoffs locally came in 2016, when OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals eliminated 80 jobs and outsourced its operations for linens, transcription and child care. It also eliminated positions in nutrition and lab services in Mansfield.

Most of the employees affected by the Mansfield cuts were offered other jobs at OhioHealth at the time.

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