Local/Regional News
12:54 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

HealthFirst Reorganizing Ahead Of Health Reform Changes

LEXINGTON, Ky. - HealthFirst Bluegrass is announcing a number of cutbacks – including the elimination of 21 positions – as the organization works to meet the requirements of the new health care reform law, but nine new positions will also be created.

HealthFirst is facing a number of challenges as it reorganizes: $1.2M in back payments owed to the organization by Medicaid, the switch to electronic medical records, and the delayed construction of its proposed new clinic on Southland Drive.

But HealthFirst executive director William North says the main reason behind the personnel changes is the approach of the health insurance exchanges set to go into effect next January and a new emphasis on integrating patients’ healthcare experience.

"What this means is not just coming in and seeing your doctor but having a wrap-around of services that include pharmacy, behavioral health, and specialty care, and being able to help the patient move towards more self-management," North says.

As part of the changes, HealthFirst is eliminating 21 positions, including three vacant spots. Many of the cuts are in clerical positions, a result of the move toward electronic record-keeping. But nine new positions will also be created to handle care coordination and outreach to help those who are newly eligible for health insurance.