Wake Forest Baptist campus

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as seen from the observation deck on Winston Tower on June 13, 2019, in Winston-Salem.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is bringing back about 800 billing-services jobs that were outsourced in 2017 to a Georgia vendor.

The N.C. Commerce Department posted Monday that nThrive Inc. had filed a WARN Act notice Wednesday of plans to eliminate a combined 839 jobs in Forsyth, Davidson, Guilford, Randolph and Wake counties.

The groups announced in April 2017 a seven-year agreement with an option for renewal. The move could have affected up to 755 employees.

NThrive, based in Alpharetta, Ga., provides revenue-cycle management for the health-care industry. It has more than 1,350 clients, ranging from single hospitals to hospital systems.

Affected nThrive employees were notified Friday of the shift in employer, which takes effect Jan. 1. The employees work in professional billing, clinic pre-registration, registration, financial clearance and professional coding and front-desk personnel.

“Our relationship with nThrive has been and remains positive,” Wake Forest Baptist said in a statement. “We value their expertise, integrity and the advances they made in our revenue cycle operations.

“As we look to establish further strategic health system partnerships, we believe reconsolidating our registration and billing services is the best decision for our organization,” Wake Forest Baptist said.

NThrive said in the notice that “the primary reason for nThrive’s reduction in force is (Wake Forest Baptist Health’s) in-sourcing of several services that (it) had previously outsourced to nThrive.”

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) was put into place in 1989 with the intent of preventing situations in which rank-and-file employees show up for work only to discover that their employer has shut down without notice.

The act does this by requiring companies that are planning large job cuts — defined as more than 50 employees — to notify their state and local governments, as well as affected workers, at least 60 days in advance.

Wake Forest Baptist said in April 2017 that several kinds of jobs that support professional billing were aligned under nThrive management, including those across the center, Cornerstone Health Care outpatient clinics in several counties, and hospital outpatient departments.

“The goal of the new relationship is to bring better support and state-of-the-art technology and training to our professional billing staff to ensure a quality billing experience for our patients and proper reimbursement for the quality patient- and family-centered health care Wake Forest Baptist provides,” the center said at that time.

Wake Forest Baptist has 19,220 employees overall. It is the largest employer in Forsyth County at 12,873, according to information in Forsyth County’s 2018-19 budget.

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rcraver@wsjournal.com

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@rcraverWSJ

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