Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Heavens! Another banker on Line 3??

By: Patrick S. Carlton, Senior Vice President at National Bank of Commerce

 For all the obvious reasons, medical practices and their physicians are excellent banking prospects. As such, practice administrators likely hear from bankers on a regular basis, and with each call probably wonder if it’s worth the time away from billing and personnel issues to take the call. In our years of banking this business segment, we have uncovered several reasons why it just might make sense to talk to another banker.

  • Fees - A fee to view this online? A fee for that module? Sometimes you feel like you are getting fee’d to death, or at least to extreme discomfort. Experience shows that a regular review of existing banking products and services will often reveal opportunities for savings - both money and time. Maybe that extra account no longer makes sense or that sweep really isn’t earning the interest you thought. While choosing your bank, just like selecting your physician, should never be about finding the low-cost provider, cost certainly plays a factor into whether you are getting the most bang for your buck.

  • Access - Do you know who to call when your large insurance deposit has not posted, or your payroll didn’t process correctly, or you need to move quickly on a big purchase? Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to reach someone in a time of need, especially your banker. Some practices never hear from their banker and some don’t even know who their banker is! Quite simply, your banker should be accessible.

• Technology - Are you using all of the technology tools available to create efficiencies, improve internal controls, and make your life easier? Whether it’s using remote deposit capture, which allows you to make deposits directly from your office, or receiving detailed information associated with electronic transactions (think EOBs for insurance deposits!), your banker should offer solutions on how to enhance your banking experience so you can focus on the other needs of the practice.

• Experience – You won’t find a banker who understands your business as thoroughly as you do, but you can find one who understands most of the issues you face every day and who has recommendations for making life easier. It shouldn’t take more than a few questions aimed in the direction of that banker on the other end of the line to see if he or she knows enough to help, or is just dialing for dollars.

It goes without saying that there are a lot of challenges and worries in healthcare today--margins are lower, risks are higher, and regulations continue to grow (sounds a lot like the banking industry). However, having a great banker as an “off-balance sheet” asset can only help improve your bottom line.

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