Ascension aims to cut costs with $10.9M service center

October 29, 2010

Ascension Health leaders say a new Indianapolis hub for its back-office functions will help the industry giant make needed cost cuts in light of national health care reform.

The St. Louis-based company’s professional services center, announced Friday morning, is expected to create 500 jobs in Indianapolis by 2013 with salaries ranging from $36,000 to $40,000.

The Ascension Health Ministry Service Center, to be located off Michigan Road on the city’s northwest side, will provide human resources, supply-chain management, and finance and accounting services to support the system’s 70 acute-care hospitals and more than 400 related health care facilities in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

“Having the right data in place to reduce the costs we have is essential now,” said Vince Caponi, CEO of Ascension’s St. Vincent Health, which has 20 hospitals across Indiana.

Ascension is the nation's largest Catholic and not-for-profit health care system. It  also has a presence in Evansville, where it runs St. Mary’s Health System.

The company will spend $10.9 million to open the center in leased office space. Ascension is still working to finalize the lease, Caponi said. Hiring for the center will begin in a few months, and the facility is expected to begin operating next summer and be fully operational by 2014.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Ascension Health up to $5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $90,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans.

Develop Indy and the City of Indianapolis offered Ascension Health infrastructure support and a training grant worth up to $300,000. Develop Indy also offered the company a property-tax abatement, which is subject to Metropolitan Development Commission approval.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who spoke at the announcement along with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, said competition for the center was particularly tough, with Sunbelt states also vying for it.

“We thought long and hard about the best location,” Caponi said, “and there were a number of good options we could have chosen.”


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