The main floor of Health Check was abuzz last week.


The main floor of Health Check was abuzz last week.



Computers ablaze, keyboards clacking, phone headsets to ears, the company was wired to hospitals across the country from its home base on County 386 in Overstreet.



That activity reflected the recent months for one of the county’s largest private employers, which has overseen expansion to Oxford, MS while continuing to grow its local workforce.



Following its announcement late last year that it was expanding to Mississippi, in large part, president and CEO Carol Kelley said, due to the unavailability of infrastructure to meet technology needs and frustration with apathy from local public officials, the company found “willing ears.”



“Not only did we have willing ears, but we had actual assistance from several Gulf County and state officials who expressed the desire to help us expand and grow right here,” said Susan Thiel, senior vice president and nursing office for the company.



“Their desire to keep a local success story here was evident by the interest that was generated in helping us remain a viable employer of local talent.”



The result has been a rousing success for Health Check.



The expansion to Oxford has been completed, but the Gulf County corporate headquarters continue to be the hub of operations nationwide.



Health Check added five new positions locally last month, padding the county workforce to 50, and is actively pursuing growth with looming job fairs such as one at Haney Vocational in the coming weeks.



The company provides a $6 million annual economic impact to the county.



 “We are here and we are not going anywhere,” Thiel said. “I think some people misinterpreted our expansion announcement as meaning we were leaving Gulf County. That is not true. The expansion to Oxford has been done, but we are here to stay.



“We are also going to continue to grow our call center here.”



Assistance has come from several county commissioners as well as the Gulf County Economic Development Alliance, Inc., and president Guerry Magidson who are assisting with pursuing state technology grants aimed at small business growth and development.



Fairpoint Communications is also on the ground at Health Check, assisting with updating and expanding broadband and other technology upgrades, putting new fiber optic cable to meet current demands but also future growth.



State grant dollars, it is hoped, will help offset some of the costs of those technology upgrades and the enhancement of infrastructure.



The company is technology-driven, the corporate offices linked to 23 hospitals – as well as the Oxford facility – around the country to provide auditing services.



In short strokes, Health Check is the financial bulwark for hospitals, assuring that after billing the hospital is receiving all appropriate reimbursement from insurance companies.



“From here we are in hospitals across the country,” Thiel said. “We are what you would call a revenue recovery company for hospitals.”



At the call center, insurance companies are contacted regarding final bills and payments.



The auditing arm combs through reams of hospital bills and spread sheets, analyzing any shortfalls in insurance reimbursement.



The company must operate under strict guidelines which mirror those under which hospitals operate.



Information is sacrosanct.



Employees must undergo rigorous background checks.



A server room and its array of equipment and wires represent the amount of information – and accompanying security – that churns through the building daily.



In turn, Thiel noted, the workforce is stable and local.



“We have very talented people in this area,” Thiel said.



The jobs pay well and employees, Thiel said, stay. A good percentage of employees have been there 10 or more years.



“Health Check is on a great path for growth,” Thiel said.