Saturday, January 31, 2009

Playing the odds

Prequel to the story: I work for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a corporation which owns many,many hospitals all over the nation. My office is called a central billing office (CBO) because we bill for 8 hospitals. CHI has 3 CBOs in Nampa, Fargo, and Kentucky. My particular billing niche is commercial insurances such as all the Blue Cross plans + several dozen others insurances. Other coworkers bill the Medicare/Medicaid plans. And a third section of our office bills patients. All together we are expected to collect between $33-$36 million/monthly. The hospitals set the target--this is what it takes to keep their doors open, payrolls solvent, and capitol improvement projects funded. Generally we hit the goal, but there have been months (spread over the 8 years I've worked there) where we've missed by as much as
$4million in a month.

SO last week an email came from headquarters bemoaning the sorry state of the economy.
same old, same old. i.e. CHI's stock market investments are shriveling (just like everybody else's) so they can't use market profits to compensate for our collection shortfalls. With so many workers losing their jobs/insurances, patient censusses are down plus it's virtually impossible to get patients to pay big chunks of money such as an insurance company would.

Bottom line: There will be layoffs at the CBO. When or who? Nobody knows. There are 60 people in my office and management could spin the dice any which way. Going by seniority, I win. (Eight years is an eternity in my job.) Going by productivity level, I win again. Going by seniority in my particular dept, dicey. Going by steadfast personality (as opposed to drama, drama, drama) I really win. Going by cutest-grandchild-ever picture displays, I WIN BIG TIME!!!

Odds are I will stay employed. If not, I plan to turn alot of cartwheels to celebrate my freedom the first week. After that I guess I'll wake up & wonder why I didn't get
eyelids done and all those other surgeries that would have been free under my ins plan.

Stay tuned.............