The Jackson Health System announced Monday it’s seeking proposals to outsource physician services in all its emergency rooms as well as looking for a company to handle its billing and collections.
“We have not made the decision to outsource either of these service lines,” said Chief Executive Carlos Migoya in an email to county political leaders. “We are simply taking the common sense step of exploring and understanding all the available options in two important areas.”
Migoya noted that outsourcing physician services is common at many hospitals, including Jackson North as well as the Broward public hospitals in both the north and south districts.
The ER proposal would be for physicians, physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners. ER nurses would continue to be Jackson employees.
Migoya wrote that this initiative “is ripe for innovative options; proposers could include academic partnerships, and we have informed our labor unions that they are welcome to submit their own proposal.”
Martha Baker, president of SEIU Local 1991, which represents Jackson’s doctors and other healthcare professionals, said, “Privatizing Jackson’s ERs would be a tragedy. A private company would be motivated to put profits over patients. Jackson’s doctors and nurses are dedicated to providing the best service at the lowest cost. We just need management’s support to make it happen.”
Migoya said the central business office, which handles billing and collections, “has historically been a challenge for Jackson. ... We are pleased that we have made significant progress in this area during the last year, but we would be remiss not to explore the opportunities.”
Migoya pointed out that in the past several years Jackson sought requests for proposals to privatize inmate healthcare before deciding it could do the job better itself. But in the case of qualifying patients for Medicaid, it decided outsourcing made sense.