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Work relocated from other hospitals to bring up to 320 jobs to Fort Wayne

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The hiring is on

Lutheran Health Network already is advertising openings for its Shared Services Center on its website, LutheranHealth.net. The jobs at the services center include the processing of medical insurance claims, billing, appeals, insurance collection and customer service.

Employment at Lutheran's Shared Services Center will rise to about 500

Friday, August 8, 2014 - 6:15 am

When Lutheran Health Network moves its Shared Services Center, then adds up to 320 jobs by 2017, those jobs will come from other hospitals.

Those jobs -- mainly business-office functions such as managing insurance claims -- won't come from the nine area Indiana hospitals that are part of the Lutheran network. Those hospitals have consolidated those functions for years in the services center, which is now located near Fort Wayne International Airport. The new growth will come from other hospitals affiliated with Community Health Systems, the parent company of the Lutheran group, which is based near Nashville, Tenn.

Brian Bauer, chief executive officer of the Lutheran network, declined to say which hospitals would have their office-support functions moved to Fort Wayne, because people in those communities haven't been notified yet. The first hospitals added to the work of the Shared Services will probably come from nearby states, he said. Among the 206 hospitals in Community Health Systems are 17 in Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky.

Carolyn Abel, a vice president of the Lutheran network, said she expects the Shared Services Center to move into its new 62,000-square-foot share of a larger building at 1700 Magnavox Way by late October or early November.

Bauer and Abel were among scores of Lutheran Network employees who gathered Thursday morning to hear Gov. Mike Pence and other elected officials applaud the expansion and relocation of the Shared Services Center. They met at the site where the center will relocate.

Bauer said Lutheran expects to invest about $6 million in equipping its space in the building for the Shared Services Center. The hospital group will get some help with its costs in the form of state incentives and, probably, local tax breaks.

That aid includes an offer of $3.25 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants, plus $78,380 toward in-kind employment services and job training from Northeast Indiana Works, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Additional incentives from the city of Fort Wayne and Allen County could raise the value of the incentives package to a total of more than $6 million, according to Greater Fort Wayne Inc.