Business in Castle Dale prepares to expand
Healthaxis Imaging Services formerly known as Satellite Imaging Systems, has been operating a center in Castle Dale since October 1994. Recent conversations with company executives have indicated that the company is making preparations this fall to expand its operations. The reason for the proposed expansion is the company's belief that it is in line to receive a significant new contract that will bring a new line of healthcare related business to the center. The hoped for expansion may mean that HAIS would need to hire as many as 30-35 additional full time employees at the Castle Dale Center in early 2003. This would almost double the size of the operation in Castle Dale and make the company one of the city's largest employers.
"For some time now, we have aggressively pursued new lines of business to supplement our current imaging and data capture services in Castle Dale," stated Bill Malone, vice president of operations. "We have previously had a larger operation in Castle Dale, but for competitive reasons were forced to make adjustments to reduce our presence in the community. However, we have strong ties with Castle Dale, and a great respect for the people who live and work here. Acquiring this new line of business is the realization of a company goal to again expand our operations specifically in the Castle Dale Center."
Currently, the HAIS services consist of receiving paper versions of healthcare claims from a healthcare payer (an insurance company for example), converting those paper claims into digital images, capturing data from the images, and returning that data in a computer file to the payer. Their clients hire HAIS because they are looking for a less costly, but high quality service. HAIS provides that service and the Castle Dale center is a major component in their success.
"For several years now, our competition has been taking advantage of "offshore" labor savings. That is, they moved major portions of their operations to countries like India, China and Ghana in Africa where the cost of labor is less than 25 percent of that in the United States," stated Malone. However, due to our operating success in rural Utah over the past eight years, HAIS made the decision to pursue new lines of business with the goal of adding more employment opportunities in the Castle Dale operation.
The company said that the biggest reason for its success in Castle Dale has been the people employed in the center. "The dedication and loyalty of our employees continues to be the strength of the operation," stated Becky Robertson, the facility director."The addition of this new line of business is the first step in achieving our goal of providing additional employment opportunities in Castle Dale".
Becky has been employed with the company for six years and she knows the value of new job opportunities in the county. "There aren't that many good job opportunities for wives and mothers looking to provide a second income for their family, or for the high school student looking to earn money for college. HAIS provides that opportunity."
The Castle Dale Center was the first U.S. based center for HAIS. Several years ago the company realized that they could operate a center in rural Utah at a reduced cost and at the same time provide needed employment for the area. Support from the city, the county and local businesses were key to their initial success in Castle Dale. During the past eight years, HAIS has paid more than $6 million dollars in salaries at the Castle Dale Center.
"I moved to Emery County five years ago when the company hired me as the regional manager. The first thing that impressed me about the operation was the quality of the employees. The rural Utah work ethic is hard to match anywhere in the country," stated Malone.
Malone continued saying that "I'm excited about this opportunity to bring new employment to our area. This is our first success with this new line of business and we anticipate more in the future."
The hiring for the new positions will be coordinated through the Workforce Services Office.