UPMC will cut 100 transcribers' jobs
UPMC will outsource its transcription services at the end of June, laying off about 100 workers, as the Pittsburgh health care giant works to rein in administrative costs.
The workers, who transcribe dictated notes from doctors, are expected to be rehired by Nuance Communications Inc., a Burlington, Mass., software company that also provides transcription services to hospitals across the country, UPMC and Nuance officials said.
UPMC is cutting costs — mainly through targeted layoffs of employees whose jobs can be replaced by technology — because expenses are growing faster than revenue.
The nonprofit hospital chain has said it's not reducing its overall workforce of about 56,000, but employment won't grow either.
UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps declined to say how many UPMC workers have lost jobs this year. Officials previously have said that they are restructuring finance departments and other administrative functions that are not directly involved in patient care.
“Systemwide, UPMC is always looking for opportunities to do things better. UPMC has been pursuing a number of initiatives to adjust our cost structure and improve our operating profitability,” Kreps said in a written statement.“UPMC is not downsizing.”
In the past several years, UPMC has added a net 2,000 to 2,500 jobs a year but is slowing its hiring as its business faces financial pressure. It expects between zero and 500 net new employees will be added this year.
UPMC, the largest hospital network in Western Pennsylvania, reported revenue of $7.6 billion and operating profit of $146.5 million for the nine months ended March 31. Although revenue was up from the same period a year ago, operating profit was off by 50 percent.
Profits are being squeezed by lower reimbursements from the government's Medicare and Medicaid programs, a long-term trend of treating more patients in outpatient settings that pays less, and higher expenses, officials have said.
UPMC and Nuance have worked together since 2011 to develop speech-recognition technology that can turn a doctor's dictated notes into electronic text, Kreps said. “This software is improving our efficiency and reducing our need for transcriptionists.”
Nuance employs 14 people in Pittsburgh who are involved in the UPMC partnership, spokeswoman Ann Joyal said. She said all UPMC transcriptionists were offered jobs with Nuance, but she did not know how many had accepted.
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- CMU showcases its lengthy list of fledgling companies at venture event
- Volkswagen executive Horn sidesteps blame in emissions scandal
- Sluggish wage growth may sap retail spending during winter holidays
- Last-minute China worries derailed Fed’s rate hike plans, minutes reveal
- Rice, Gulfport team on Utica shale pipeline system
- Fed insight gives stocks room to run; S&P 500 regains 2,000 mark
- Other segments nudge Alcoa to slim profit
- Power plants challenged by carbon capture and storage
- Consol raises $101 million in coal asset sales
- 2,000 more layoffs at U.S. Steel debated
- Google is latest tech giant to claim space in mobile news