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Bassett Healthcare Network places IT and revenue management in Optum's hands

John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | June 01, 2021
Business Affairs Health IT
Bassett Healthcare Network has chosen Optum to manage its IT and revenue operations (Photo courtesy of Bassett)
Management of Bassett Healthcare Network’s IT and revenue operations will fall to Optum for the next 10 years as part of a strategic partnership between the two.

Optum will provide the healthcare system with revenue cycle management, advanced data and analytic capabilities and IT enhancements to advance the quality of care and workflow of its Central New York facilities. The deal enables Bassett to grow as an organization while still remaining an independent, locally governed health system.

“Building on our long history of strategic relationships, our collaboration with Optum will create career opportunities for our employees and infuse Bassett with leading innovations and expertise that will greatly modernize and enhance experiences and access to clinical services for patients. It also will expand our ability to partner with other healthcare providers in the region, to better serve patients in Central New York,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and chief executive officer of Bassett Healthcare Network, in a statement.

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Three of Bassett’s five hospitals are critical access, and all together the healthcare system has 370 beds. Running on Optum’s services, Bassett expects to expand patient access and make their experience more convenient and comfortable, from scheduling and care navigation to payment. It also wants to use Optum’s data, expertise and advanced analytical technologies to enhance and make care more cost effective.

Optum will help Basset execute healthcare-specific IT strategies that will enhance its infrastructure and network securities across all its hospitals and will modernize its revenue cycle to improve administrative efficiencies and make billing more transparent. These endeavors will ensure it is both secure and financially stable. Financial struggles in the past few years have weighed Bassett down, with its last publicly available financial documents in 2018 showing a margin of $166,184. The healthcare system even considered selling to a larger health system to stay open, reported Modern Healthcare.

"We have been facing financial challenges over the past several years and evaluating our options," Ibrahim told Modern Healthcare. He added that “this is a wonderful way to be able to remain as an independent health system.”

Approximately 500 Bassett employees will have the opportunity to switch to working under Optum. They will continue to directly support Bassett Healthcare Network, while being able to build up their skills and work through opportunities, technologies and processes at Optum.

All together, Bassett consists of five corporately affiliated hospitals, over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities and other health partners in related fields.

Bassett did not respond for comment.

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