Chicago-based Accretive Health Inc. is growing exponentially by doing something that seems very simple: making it easier for healthcare facilities do what they're meant to do—provide healthcare. Accretive helps simplify the management of hospital's and doctor's accounting and billing operations. Because this is what Accretive workers are specifically trained to do, that bookkeeping can be done more efficiently than a healthcare facility may be able to execute internally. Increased efficiency means cost savings and, thanks to a creative payment structure, it is through these savings that Accretive is paid. The hospital or doctor’s office pays Accretive half of its total savings—it’s a true win-win.
Accretive Health has found another creative solution to a common refrain: our economy needs an influx of more highly skilled workers. The company is growing and looking to hire more employees. To get the workforce that the company needs, Accretive has partnered with Chicago Career Tech (CCT) to train the skilled customer service representatives required to handle medical billing and insurance questions that clients may have..
CCT is the brainchild of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and was developed and incubated by World Business Chicago in late 2009. It is the first program of its kind in the country and provides an intense six-month, six-day-a-week program in technology-based job retraining designed exclusively for low- and middle-income, unemployed Chicago residents. The integrated program features classroom training plus hands-on employer- and service-based learning with a business or nonprofit organization. For the past year, Accretive has been one of those employer-based learning partners and has hired a large number of these newly re-trained workers. It’s another win-win that WBC was happy to facilitate: find a way for Chicagoans looking for work to partner with a fast-growing Chicago company looking to hire qualified employees. In fact, the company expects to hire more than 650 people over the next several years.
Michael Peeples, a CCT participant turned Accretive Health employee, says of the experience, “It was exciting to be accepted into the CCT program and without CCT, I likely wouldn’t have a job at Accretive Health. Their career coaching, on-the-job training and willingness to reach out on my behalf have all played huge roles in preparing me for my job at Accretive.”
Accretive Health has become the largest career partner that CCT has and currently employs 25 CCT grads. These positions are a far cry from entry level—the average staring salary is $35,506. In CCT’s current class Accretive Health is helping to train 49 of the participants.
According to Duane Lisowski, Accretive Health’s vice president of operations, “Accretive Health is proof that the CCT program works. Chicago Career Tech sources and screens participants, providing us with strong, adaptable candidates to train in a brand new industry, allowing participants to reinvent themselves and learn marketable skills.”