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Major health network restructuring

Catholic Health Partners, Ohio’s sixth largest employer, said it is restructuring as the health industry transforms from a fee-for-service system to one that pays providers based on quality of care delivered.

The Cincinnati-based nonprofit health care group operating hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and physician practices employs about 33,000 people in Ohio and Kentucky.

Catholic Health Partners is the parent organization of Mercy Health in Fairfield and Community Mercy Health in Springfield and Urbana.

Key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go in effect next year, including the mandate requiring most individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Other requirements such as reducing hospital readmission rates are already in place.

Catholic Health is preparing by “consolidating system functions and repositioning our workforce,” said spokesman Mike Boehmer. Some jobs will be eliminated, but Catholic Health will also be hiring in other areas, but it is too early to tell the number of jobs to be affected, Boehmer said.

For example, a growing new job within the health group is a care coordinator who works with patients who have chronic diseases. They follow up with patients after procedures to make sure patients take medications and meet appointments, in an effort to reduce preventable inpatient readmissions.

Also Catholic Health is consolidating some back-office operations to a location in Blue Ash, in Hamilton County. Functions have been moved to Blue Ash in billing, claims and technical support, among other things.

A Corporate Physician Business Center opened in Blue Ash on McAuley Place in early 2012. It serves all of Catholic Health.

The center shares a building with the headquarters of Mercy Health, one of seven Catholic Health markets in Ohio and Kentucky. Mercy Health includes hospitals, physician offices and other outpatient facilities in southwest Ohio.

The organizational changes “will prepare us to deliver health care in the totally different manner that the future will require,” Boehmer said. “Where possible, we are attempting to find jobs elsewhere in CHP for those whose positions are being eliminated. We assist those who have lost jobs by offering severance pay and outplacement services.”

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