LEWISTON — A partnership between the parent organization of St Mary’s Health System and a revenue cycle company leaves 78 employees in Lewiston facing an uncertain future.

Covenant Health Systems announced Wednesday that starting in October it would partner with Ensemble Health Partners to manage its coding, billing and payment processing functions in an effort to save money.

According to Karen Sullivan, system director of corporate communications for Covenant Health, 167 employees in Lewiston will be affected by the partnership, and of those employees, 89 will transition to Ensemble Health.

She did not clarify whether the 89 employees would remain in Lewiston or would have to move to a new location.

Sullivan said Covenant Health Systems has yet to identify a placement or transition for 78 of the employees.

Suzanne Dumaresq, external communications manager at Covenant Health, said that many of the 78 employees who have not been placed within the new partnership are in clerical positions.

“The Ensemble team will be meeting with this group in the next few weeks to conduct interviews and discuss options,” Dumaresq said, adding, “There are a number of positions open within the Covenant system and qualified staff will be encouraged to apply for these positions.”

Dumaresq said employees who “wish to move on” will be given severance packages, including access to outplacement services.

It was unknown whether the positions available for the 78 displaced employees are similar to what they are doing now.

Follow-up phone calls and e-mails to Dumaresq for clarification went unanswered Wednesday evening.

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