Optum to hire 1,400 employees from Maine health system, take over admin functions

Optum is hiring 1,400 employees from Brewer, Maine-based Northern Light Health and will manage parts of the system's operational functions.

Specifically, Optum will manage Northern Light's revenue cycle management, information systems, inpatient care management, analytics, project management office and supply chain. In March, 1,400 of the system's employees will become employed by Optum but will still support Northern Light's operations, according to a Jan. 5 news release.

Tim Dentry, the health system's president and CEO, told the Portland Press Herald the deal is expected to save $1 billion over 10 years by outsourcing billing and support operations to Optum.

"Nobody was going to save the day for us in healthcare," Mr. Dentry told the newspaper. "This decision by Northern Light is going to take a huge amount of pressure off of individual entities like [Eastern Maine Medical Center, a hospital parented by the health system]."

The new Optum employees will have access to the company's tools, technologies, processes, skills development training and opportunities for advancement. 

Northern Light employs 12,000 people in Maine across 10 hospitals, a medical group, eight nursing homes and 37 primary care locations.

Optum has inked similar partnerships in the past with St. Louis-based SSM Health,  Greenbrae, Calif.-based MarinHealth, Cooperstown, N.Y.-based Bassett Healthcare Network, Boulder (Colo.) Community Health and Walnut Creek, Calif.-based John Muir Health.

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