Nicholas Spanakis is the group practice manager for PNC Healthcare Business Banking. He has more than a decade of health care industry experience and more than 25 years in the financial services industry. PNC Bank’s health care business banking group focuses on providing financial guidance to health care practices.
Q. If a health care practice doesn’t already work with a more specialized health care banking group, why might they consider doing so now?
It comes down to getting a true ally in the market that will work with you and your other trusted advisers. Don’t settle for banks that treat health care practices as one size fits all, look for one that has specialization and a proven track record of integrating solutions for you across the entire bank. Their primary focus should be to help a practice improve its revenue cycle, which results in stronger cash flow and practice profitability. They need to understand the health care revenue cycle and be able to help interpret what you could be doing differently.
Q. What banking challenges and differences do those in the health care industry face that those in other industries might not?
The process of how a practice gets paid for their services is very different, with many external factors directly influencing the bottom line. There are government regulations and laws, complicated coding for reimbursement, rising patient receivables, and a large variety of insurance contracts, which varies the revenue patient to patient for similar procedures. Those in medicine may not have a lot of hard business collateral; their collateral is principally associated with the service rendered, as opposed to a manufacturer who has a lot of equipment.
Q. What should health care practices be looking for from a bank in this economy?
For health care businesses right now, these are changing times. There’s significant pressure in the marketplace not only regulatory and political pressures, but technological and competitive pressures, too. Now, more than ever, practices need assistance from a health care banking resource someone who understands their business and can credibly work with the practice and their trusted advisers. Practices need to proactively seek out and bring these banking advisers to the table to have an honest and transparent conversation about their business.