According to a company spokesperson as part of ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and value LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon announced measured actions to streamline operating costs and strengthen its ongoing competitive position.
To make better use of three multistate service centers in Washington and Oregon, LifeWise will move all of its staff out of its Bend service center facility by December 31, 2010, and invite most of its Bend operations associates to relocate to Spokane or Portland, or remain in Bend and join its expanding ‘virtual service center’ telecommuting network, which has been active for a number of years.
“Depending on how many eligible associates choose to telecommute,” said Majd El-Azma, President and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, “a majority of our Bend Operations team could remain in the area as part of our Bend-based virtual service center.” Out of 132 people employed in Bend, 11 operations positions will be eliminated.
Additionally, LifeWise announced 10 position eliminations in non-operational areas of the company statewide, as part of ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and value.
“Like any responsible business, LifeWise continually reviews its operations for cost efficiency, best use of existing resources and technology, and alignment with current and future business needs, “ said El-Azma.
LifeWise moved into its current facility in the Old Mill District in 2002. The facility is approximately 54,875 square feet and owned by RiverBend Investors I, LLC. Bill Smith of William Smith Properties said: “We will be looking for new tenants to pick up after the Lifewise lease expires in 2012 and we are saddened by the departure of LifeWise. They were good corporate citizens.”
LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon is a member of a family of companies headquartered in Washington state, with operations in Portland and Bend, Oregon; Mountlake Terrace and Spokane, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska. LifeWise and its affiliates employ about 2,900 people and provide health-care coverage and related services to about 1.5 million members and their families.