Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., said it plans to consolidate 56 billing offices into eight regional offices in a three-year project that will cost $275 million and eliminate 300 jobs. The move mirrors steps taken by HCA, Nashville, starting in 1999 to consolidate billing and collections in 10 centers across the country. Tenet said it expects a one-time reduction of $100 million in accounts receivable and annual savings of $75 million once the consolidation is completed. The setup also will enable Tenet to receive information about each hospital's operating performance more easily and more quickly, spokesman Gary Hopkins said. The company said the project will involve $100 million in capital expenses and $175 million for installation and training. The patient-accounting software that will be installed already is used at 60% of Tenet's hospitals. A total of 2,900 workers will staff the billing offices, down from 3,200 at Tenet's current roster of 17 central billing offices and 39 hospital billing offices, the company said. Tenet owns and operates 114 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet to consolidate billing into regional offices
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