Avera to open payment center in Mitchell; 15 jobs expected initiallyAvera will open a payment center in Mitchell, which will create approximately 15 new jobs with potential growth of up to 50 jobs
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
A payment center in Mitchell that will open this fall is a new step for Avera, according to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital President and CEO Tom Clark.
The center, which will create approximately 15 new jobs with as many as 50 jobs in the future, is the first time the health care company has opened an office outside of Sioux Falls.
“So it’s a big deal,” Clark said.
The payment center will be located in the Avera Medical Plaza at 2200 N. Kimball St. Space will be made at the existing location for the new employees, Clark said.
The payment center will process payments of Avera accounts from across the health system. Previously, this work was outsourced, but it’s being brought back to the system.
“We are very excited to be opening this payment center in Mitchell,” said John Porter, president and CEO of Sioux Falls-based Avera, in a news release. “This is an opportunity for Avera to invest in one of our key communities and better serve our patients.”
Clark said a leadership team will be hired for the payment center this fall. He said it should be fully staffed with up to 15 people by early next year. Clark said he will not be involved with the center in a leadership capacity, but he said it is good news for Avera and for Mitchell.
“This new payment center will provide better customer service for Avera patients because of the electronic connection between the payment center and the Avera hospitals’ business offices,” he said. “We are all on the same patient billing system, so the payment process will be streamlined and we’ll be much better able to assist our patients.”
The new office marks a further investment in Mitchell for Avera, and with assistance from the Mitchell Area Development Corp.
The MADC provided a $100,000 loan, and $2,000 will be forgiven for each job filled after five years. Clark said if all 50 jobs are filled, the entire loan will be wiped clean.
“We believe this expansion by Avera, creating new office jobs, is a great fit for our community and will have a good long term benefit and impact on the growth of our economy,” said Mike Rieck, MADC’s president.
The Avera Payment Center will operate as an extension of the Avera hospitals’ business offices. Avera has major regional hospitals in Aberdeen, Yankton, Sioux Falls, Mitchell and Marshall, Minn.
The payment center will support these hospitals and about 23 other Avera hospitals in the four-state region. Avera said it will “hire staff that represents the Avera values when working with people to set up a payment plan or answer questions about billing.”
Daryl Thuringer, vice president of marketing and public relations for Avera Health, said the jobs will be full-time with benefits. He did not provide a pay range.
“We just think it is a great fit for our system and the community of Mitchell,” Thuringer said. “We are really excited about it.”
He said the jobs are not classified as collections, since the payment center workers will work to “assist” people with the remaining amount of their medical bills after insurance payments have been recorded. These workers will not work with people with overdue bills, Thuringer said; that work is done at a different location.
Avera is accepting applications for leadership positions for the payment center. Once the leadership team is in place. other positions will be filled.
To apply, go to AveraJobs.org and search for positions in Mitchell.