News : Ascension’s Service Center Handles Business Side of Health Care
Jan 26, 2014 -- Every day calls ring into the Ascension Health Ministry Service Center on Indianapolis’ Northwestside, where about 530 employees answer questions on everything from product purchasing to employee benefits.
The calls come from associates as far away as Texas — doctors to support staff to administrators who make up St. Louis-based Ascension Health. And many more calls are expected.
That’s why Ascension Health recently laid plans to expand its service center and create up to 549 jobs by 2016 to serve all of its associates in its health ministries, which are typically regionally connected health systems. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. recently offered the Ministry Service Center, a limited liability company, funding in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.
Ascension subsidiary Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health will go live with the service center in May. "The ministry service center is central to a systemwide transformation," said Ministry Service Center CEO Lee Coulter, as it centralizes services once handled by individual hospitals or health systems, such as purchase orders and payroll.
"We really care for our associates, and have gone above and beyond to make sure there’s as little displacement as possible," he said. That includes training employees for different jobs within their health organization and hiring temporary workers during transitions, he added.
At the Ministry Service Center, in addition to employees who handle calls on the front line, a wide range of specialists from pay and benefits to analytics services handle more involved queries. "Most associates are used to someone down the hall performing the task for them," said Charlie Bell, a client relationship manager at the service center. "It’s a change for someone to pick up the phone and call Indianapolis."
But the upshot, Bell said, is that employees have a team of professionals available to meet their needs. "There’s always someone there to take that question and get it resolved for them," he said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014