Things have been on the upswing in Detroit this fall. The Red Wings are undefeated and the long-hapless Lions are 5-1. With its new "Center of Excellence," Anthelio Healthcare Solutions is hoping to keep the good times rolling in the Motor City with hundreds of new jobs.
Dallas-based Anthelio, which develops IT services and business process solutions for hospitals and physician practice groups, announced plans this week to open a 50,000-square foot facility, located between Detroit and Flint, Mich.
Anthelio Chairman and CEO Richard S. Garnick says the firm's Center of Excellence (CoE) will be "a place where we can educate new professionals, provide ongoing ICD-9-to-10 training, and utilize as a hub for managing and coordinating coding operations."
After all, he says, "the demand for coders in the market is very high – and with the countdown under way until the new ICD-10 code sets take effect, we recognize the need to continue to increase our coding professionals significantly."
[See also: Scared of ICD-10? ICD-11 is in the wings.]
In the next year, says Garnick, Anthelio is "initially targeting an estimated addition of 200 new coding professionals" – and could potentially hire as many as 1,000 in the next three years, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
"Anthelio already employs a significant number of people in the state of Michigan; from Detroit to Flint and surrounding areas," says Garnick. "We absolutely recognize the tough economic times these areas have experienced, but are committed to these markets and believe there is a pool of talent here that we want to have as part of the team."
As part of the CoE Anthelio will be working with community colleges across Michigan in a program aimed at preparing healthcare and IT workers to enter the field. This will help with the firm's expansion strategy, helping identify high-quality talent and providing them with the technology and training to "make a measurable impact on the healthcare industry."
Garnick cites Anthelio's existing relationship with Livonia, Mich.-based like Schoolcraft college as an example. In fact, he says, "several of our in-house coding educators are professors who teach coding curriculum in partnership with Schoolcraft. These partnerships, which we will grow and expand, will help us continue to build out our base of new and entry-level coding professionals, while also helping us invest in and accelerate the education and growth of experienced coding professionals who are part of the Anthelio team."
While many companies "are making fewer investments in their people, we started a tuition reimbursement program," says Garnick. "We made sacrifices this past year in marketing, in operations, and in other areas, to spend over a million dollars on training programs and tools so that our people can nimbly adapt to the flood of change. I view this as an investment in each employee’s stature in the marketplace.”
He adds that ICD-10, in particular, represents a "significant" challenge – and opportunity.
"Think about it," says Garnick. "The number of code sets used by healthcare professionals is going to more than quadruple in less than 24 months. At the same time, there are many current coding professionals in the industry today who we know are not going to make the leap and may choose to leave the workforce or retire soon."
Anthelio is committed to nurturing "strong coding professionals and support," he says. "It’s important to take care of the information technology and revenue cycle management aspects of healthcare, so hospitals and providers can focus on quality care first and foremost."