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Oct 14

Traditional banking services for a physician practice

A practice can obtain two distinct sets of services from most banks:  Traditional Deposit Services (sometimes called Checking or just Account Services) and Treasury Management Services.  Treasury Management services are those that include Lock Box, Sweep and electronic account access (which may have additional fees, such as for EOBs).  With Lock Box, the bank receives your payment mail directly, opens it and deposits checks (and these days usually images everything), then sends all of the EOBS (and other mail) to you, along with the deposit forms.  With Sweep, they draw your account down to a specified amount every night and invest it.  Then they cash out what is needed to cover the next day’s checks and put it back in your checking account. Many small town banks do not offer Treasury Management services. You could post the EOBs internally, or send them to a third party (as we do).  All of the fees for these services are negotiable.  I mean ALL.  So, even if you just use checking services, you shouldn’t be paying their “retail” fee schedule.

For example, I know of a 15 physician practice that spends about $325 a month on traditional checking services for around 2,000 transactions.  Its Lock Box services costs about $600 per month for about 2,000 transactions.  (Total transactions are about 4,000 per month.)  They also pay $15 a month for electronic access to their accounts and $110 a month for the sweep services.  So their total banking expense is about $1,050 per month.  The practice earns about $1660 a month on the sweep, so the sweep pays all of the banking expense, plus they have $600 left over.  If you ever ask for a proposal for banking services, be sure to split it into two parts (Deposit Services and Treasury Management) and be sure to identify all of the components, because banks will attempt to charge you “retail” for anything you fail to ask for pricing on.

About Reed Tinsley, CPA

As a top advisor to physicians, I help increase practice profits by delivering hands-on, expert medical accounting/tax support, practice counsel, and revenue-building strategies. Read more →