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Change Healthcare medical billing firm lays off workers in Queensbury

Change Healthcare medical billing firm lays off workers in Queensbury

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QUEENSBURY — Change Healthcare, a medical billing firm in Northway Plaza, dismissed a number of workers on Friday because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A representative from the company did not give an exact number of how many workers were terminated, but four of the laid-off workers put the estimate between 20 and 25.

The workers said they were all told to go on a mandatory conference call with several supervisors and managers. They all said that the company representatives told them they were being laid off due to the company’s needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the former workers, most of those let go worked on one team, but the dismissals stretched across other teams and a wide range of job experience.

In a statement, Kerry Kelly, the vice president of external communications for Change Healthcare, said, “As Change Healthcare navigates the coronavirus pandemic, we continually evaluate our business to ensure that we’re investing our time, energy and resources in the right places to operate efficiently and responding to the constantly changing landscape. Some of those actions include workforce planning; to that end, we made the difficult decision that will impact a small number of our team members to eliminate some positions.

“We do not make these decisions lightly because of the impact on our team members,” he added. “Individuals affected by position eliminations will be offered comprehensive severance benefits and outplacement assistance. We wish them the best as they seek new opportunities.”

The former workers said the Queensbury office usually had a staff of more than 300 people before the dismissals.

The former workers said Change Healthcare representatives refused to answer any of their questions during the conference call and also have not followed through with a separation letter that they said would arrive by the end of the business day Friday. None of them had heard anything from the company by Sunday afternoon.

Abigail Wilbur, who was fired along with her husband Nicholas, said the company told its workers to remain working in the Queensbury office even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office recommended people work remotely if at all possible.

Once they were told to work remotely, all four workers said they knew of some people who had to buy internet services in order to work from home, and that the company said it would reimburse them for any job-related expenses.

“So far, no one has seen any reimbursement,” Wilbur said.

Melanie Bishop, one of the fired workers, said some of the fired workers have contacted attorneys, the state Attorney General’s Office and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to see what rights they have in the situation.

Follow Will Springstead on Twitter @WSpringsteadPSV.

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