Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health care system, will open a national member services contact center in Gwinnett County, Georgia later this year. The move will bring more than 800 new jobs to metro Atlanta by 2020—most of them by 2017.
“Over the past several years, we have experienced tremendous growth nationally as more people have joined Kaiser Permanente for our industry-leading, high-quality care and affordable coverage,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia. “Across the country, our contact centers now handle more than 15 million calls and one million emails a year, and we want to ensure that all of our members receive top-notch customer service from experienced professionals.”
Metro Atlanta’s market for call center workers—the seventh largest in the country—was a key reason Kaiser Permanente chose to locate a national contact center in Georgia. The health care organization is investing $51 million to purchase and renovate an 185,000 square-foot office complex situated on 18 acres in Duluth. The facility, which will be designed to meet requirements for LEED certification as a “green” building, is expected to open in the fall. Kaiser Permanente currently operates national contact centers in California, Colorado, Hawaii and Maryland.
“The health care industry is an economic driver in Georgia,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Kaiser Permanente’s devotion to bettering the lives of citizens through innovative health care services makes the company a good fit for Georgia. The state looks forward to continuing this partnership with Kaiser Permanente as it further expands and produces a positive impact on Georgia’s economy.”
“Kaiser Permanente’s decision to invest in Gwinnett speaks to the strength of our community and the economic vitality of this area,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “With access to a skilled workforce and significant infrastructure, companies like Kaiser Permanente are able to successfully grow and expand their business with confidence.”
The new contact center will serve Kaiser Permanente’s more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including approximately 300,000 in Georgia. Last year, the company announced plans to open a new IT facility in Atlanta, which is expected to create 900 new jobs, bringing Kaiser Permanente’s presence in Georgia to more than 5,000 employees and physicians by 2020.
In addition to recruiting more than 800 new employees to handle calls and emails related to insurance coverage and billing, Kaiser Permanente is relocating its Georgia-based member service representatives, appointment schedulers and advice nurses to the new facility. The contact center will have the capacity to hold up to 1,000 workers. Hiring is expected to start in the summer of 2016.