Many physicians and practice managers are so focused on the day-to-day operations of their medical practices, such as caring for patients and submitting insurance claims, that they often don’t focus on how they can enhance their overall business strategies.
One way that practices are improving their money management is to seek out treasury management support from their banks. By incorporating just a few treasury management services into your practice’s cash management, you can help drive efficiency, save money, enhance security and increase your overall revenue.
Banks offer a wide range of treasury management services that can benefit your practice, including:
Most banks offer a remote deposit service that gives clients the ability to scan and electronically submit checks for deposit using a basic PC with internet connectivity and a certified scanner available through the bank. This improves the efficiency of your practice because it allows you to make check deposits electronically without having to physically transport checks to the bank. It also improves cash flow because the funds are available much faster and deposits can often be made after typical branch closing times.
Lockbox helps your practice reduce collection float, accelerate remittance procedures and simplify accounts receivables processing. You can reduce your processing costs by outsourcing your accounts receivable processing to the bank and increase the speed of your cash flow. Ensure your bank is set up to process these payments within HIPAA regulations.
Merchant services is the treasury management capability that lets you accept credit and debit cards for goods and services sold to your customers. Your bank can provide you with the proper tools, hardware, software and security measures to process payments and receive credit directly into your account. Merchant services will not only benefit your practice, but will also provide a convenience to your customers, as they have the option to use other payment methods besides cash and checks.
Commercial and Business Cards
The migration from paper disbursement methods has accelerated with Automated Clearing House (ACH), wire and cards being the new preference. ACH is the least costly method for both parties involved in the payment process and can include detailed addenda information. Wires are for high value payments that are time sensitive and can easily be tracked. Commercial or business cards have been a new favorite for medical practices because they are issued under corporate — rather than personal — liability, their reporting is advanced so the reconciliation process is even easier than checks and there is a financial benefit to the card user in the form of cash or points. Also, practices get the extra float of only making payment in full after the billing and payment cycle is complete, which is usually 40+ days.
Positive Pay for Checks and ACH
The risk of fraud will never completely be eliminated, but positive pay services allow you to review checks and ACH items that do not meet a predetermined set of allowable “filters.” You can review these exception items online, make a decision to pay or decline, and protect the hard-earned money your practice generates.
These are just a few examples of the many treasury management services available to medical practices. Most banks offer all of these services and more, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Investing in quality treasury management solutions will ultimately help you better manage your funds and run your practice more efficiently. Talk to your banker about how you can best utilize treasury management within your practice.
Yobany Mayen is a Senior Vice President in Treasury Management at Amegy Bank, a division of ZB, N.A., Member FDIC, in San Antonio. An experienced banking veteran, Mayen excels in finding customized strategies to meet the unique needs of physicians and other healthcare professionals to make their business run smoother. For more information, please contact Mayen at 210-343-4421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.