Priding itself on being a resourceful community-banking network across eight states, the Bank of Colorado regards itself for its old-fashioned, neighborly customs of greeting customers by name and answering telephone calls in person. So when one of the Grand Junction branches began to get more inquiries for loans related to medical procedures, the Bank of Colorado began to identify a need that wasn't being met by area banks. Customers needed assistance in either covering deductible and copay costs that were paid directly to the insurance company or paying for orthodontic work, fertility treatments, lasik eye surgery, and other medical-related expenses not typically covered by most insurance plans.
Identifying the Problem
The Bank of Colorado quickly identified significant issues that families face with funding a substantial medical need that is either subject to a high deductible or not covered by insurance.
Medical-specific credit cards typically offer a brief time period of 0% interest, but high interest rates kick in just a few months later, making the overall cost even more significant for patients. Those in need typically find themselves paying for their medical services months and even years after the procedure was completed, regardless of the outcome. And these continued payments prevent patients from continuing much needed follow-up care. Additionally, these high interest rate cards charge the medical providers with percentage-based fees, which can elevate the medical costs charged to patients in an effort to recoup the fees.
Bank financing in the form of small loans for medical services has been another option; however, the relatively small loan amount coupled with the large overhead to generate the finance agreement has lessened profitability to the point of making the venture a questionable endeavor. And with the ever-increasing lending legislation and regulation, it is becoming more and more difficult for banks to lend money.
Occasionally, providers may offer direct financing to patients as a means of covering medical costs. However, this option is not typically offered to patients because providers assume all the risk in collecting the majority of the payments after the services have been performed. Couple that risk with the fact that patients find themselves making payments long after the medical care has been administered, follow up care becomes less likely, which ultimately lowers the providers’ bottom line.
“We began to identify a significant need for medical financing within our community but found it difficult to create and service the relatively smaller loans while justifying the manual process that consumed a large portion of our overhead costs,” said Jeff Franklin, Branch President of Bank of Colorado – Grand Junction Branch.
An Agreeable Solution
With the implementation of MyLoans™ by Epic River, Bank of Colorado is solving all the shortcomings associated with the typical means for financing medical services. Bank of Colorado is now able to provide patients with the financing they need at a reasonable interest rate and an affordable monthly payment by using the automated MyLoans™ system.
To implement the program, the Bank of Colorado establishes an agreement with area medical providers. Then when those providers encountered patients that needed assistance with a payment plan, the providers were able to present an affordable, finance agreement to patients without the typical high interest rate. The plan sold itself as patients saw the value of what they were getting at the low interest rate they previously could not access.
And the Bank of Colorado is reaping the rewards. With medical providers acquiring new customers on behalf of the financial institution, the Bank of Colorado is now seeing a significant influx in loans and in new customers to whom they can cross-sell. With more than 1,000 new loans in the last year from the MyLoans™ program and an average of $3,000 for each loan, Bank of Colorado is seeing a significant new interest income with almost no impact to their internal processes and practices.
“In less than six months, we have made back our initial investment and continue to see an increase in interest income and new customers with little time investment,” said Shawn Osthoff, President of Bank of Colorado.
Bank of Colorado is living up to its reputation of being a resourceful community-banking network with high regard for its old-fashioned, neighborly customs. By deepening the bank’s relationship with area providers, Bank of Colorado is seeing a large increase in new customers, and local medical providers are finally able to offer services to patients and receive their upfront payment without carrying the risk or incurring high fees.
MyLoans™ by Epic River
The MyLoans™ software allows bank officials to deepen their relationships with medical providers. The medical provider can provide a much-needed service to meet their patients’ needs, and patients can pay for procedures without running up huge credit card balances.
For more information, contact MyLoans™ at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 970.292.5045 ext. 5067. You can also check us out online at www.MyLoans.co or via social media: Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.