University signs partnership with Pollux

The university announced Wednesday it will partner with Pollux Systems, Inc.

President Linda Bennett and Pollux CEO Paul McGowan signed a memorandum of understanding, which details a five-year, “multi-faceted partnership” that aims to strengthen the Evansville region’s role in medical claims processing, the company’s primary function.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the Business and Engineering Center.

Bennett said with the new Strategic Plan, this partnership falls under the goal of university expansion.

“In (USI’s history), partnerships have been core,” she said. “Potential outreach is inherent to the university.”

Pollux focuses on integrating cutting-edge technology with advanced expertise to maximize physician return in a team environment.

It works to develop medical coding systems, which are the methods in which physicians communicate patient information with insurance companies.

McGowan said Pollux will create curriculum for the university and provide “in-class and lab experiences.”

Pollux will offer internships for both students and faculty.

“In the simplest form, we’re creating a highly competent workforce,” McGowan said. “We will serve as a pipeline to jobs in Evansville.”

The company has since grown and extended its reach since its establishment in Paducah, Kentucky, including the opening of an Evansville office, which serves as its headquarters.

Pollux eventually hopes to open a medical coding center in Evansville.

McGowan said medical coding is often sent for processing overseas, but Pollux wants to bring that processing back to the United States. An Evansville medical coding center would be one of the first established in the U.S.

Pollux plans to work with both the College of Nursing and Health Professions and Romain College of Business, the press release states.

The university will select one or more faculty members to work alongside Pollux on projects drawing on project management, risk analysis and other skills relevant to the revenue cycle management industry.

Students will also be selected in business and health professions to participate in the program through competency-based pathway internships made possible in part through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

Internships may be offered as early as summer 2016, the release states, for students in management, computer information systems, health administration and other health programs.

Pollux will also establish and maintain a satellite office in the Business and Engineering Center to facilitate the educational component as well as collaborate with faculty and students on the creation of tracks.

The collaboration will integrate with existing programs that would prepare students for a wider range of career opportunities.

McGowan said the process of collaborating with the university happened within three months and has been an enjoyable process.

“If you can build a concept that makes sense in every sector,” he said, “it doesn’t take long to make it work.”

The office is set to open fall 2016.

“This is the right time for it,” McGowan said. “There’s a tremendous need for it.”

Gabi Wy contributed to this article.