St. Vincent outsources 85 medical transcription jobs to India

St. Vincent Health is outsourcing dozens of jobs in its medical transcription department to India, but workers who get pink slips will be eligible for federal help.

The U.S. Labor Department ruled August 12 that the workers can apply for a raft of benefits, including career counseling, classroom training, and cash payments for those enrolled in a full-time training course.  

The ruling comes a few weeks after St. Vincent announced it planned to cut more than 100 jobs at its Carmel campus, 10330 N. Meridian St., this summer. At the time, St. Vincent said the jobs would be moved to a “shared service site,” but did not say where it would be located.

Shortly afterward, St. Vincent workers petitioned the Labor Department for assistance, saying 85 jobs “are being outsourced to India.”

St. Vincent has acknowledged it is shifting some back-office billing jobs to a Chicago-based company, R1 RCM. That company has offices in India, and is advertising on its website for medical transcription workers at an office in Gurgaon, India, just southwest of New Delhi.

Several of the job listings are described as performing transcription work “at a sufficient rate to meet minimum productivity standards.” The jobs require “extreme accuracy, concentration and alertness.”

The starting wage was not listed in the ad. Officials at the company’s Chicago headquarters did not return email and telephone calls on Monday.    

R1 RCM has had a lengthy relationship with Ascension, the St. Louis-based parent of St. Vincent. Ascension is the nation’s largest not-for-profit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Earlier this year. Ascension and R1 RCM finalized a 10-year agreement, resulting in an increase of $1.5 billion in net patient revenue for the Chicago company.

Trade Adjustment Assistance includes a range of benefits and services for workers who lose a job because of foreign trade. Assistance can include money for training and job-search expenses. Qualified workers age 50 and older can also receive supplemental pay if they find a new job that pays less than the one they lost.

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