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Community health providers play a crucial role in our society, providing quality healthcare that is inclusive and accessible to the communities they serve. To best meet their mission, they need a seamless business infrastructure that allows them to focus on the needs of their patients. That support system becomes even more crucial during stressed periods such as the pandemic and economic downturn of 2020.

The Portland Clinic, Oregon’s oldest, private, multispecialty medical group that cares for more than 90,000 patients at six locations, was searching for a bank partner that could support their growth and help them achieve their mission of “a trusted community collaborating to improve the health and well-being of those we serve.”

KeyBank stepped up with a holistic approach that combined Key Equipment Finance, KeyBank Real Estate Capital, Enterprise Payments and specialty financial advisory services that allowed them to streamline their patient processes and improve their experience and build trust. KeyBank’s integrated team centered the goals of The Portland Clinic’s Chief Executive Officer Dick Clark and their finance department to modernize their systems and improve their financial position. With their KeyBank relationship team overseeing coordination between lending, treasury and employee benefits, The Portland Clinic’s leadership could concentrate on delivering exceptional care.

How the Relationship Began: Quick Problem-Solving

The Portland Clinic needed a nimble financial relationship not only to finance specialized medical equipment, but to recapitalize funds and utilize the equity that had grown to make necessary improvements to their clinics.

KeyBank was able to provide the equipment financing needed in the short term to secure medical equipment, furniture, and technology through Key Equipment Finance led by Beau Conway, Vice President, while the real estate lending team refinanced their existing loans and carved out their downtown location so that they could complete a transformative renovation. The bank also provided an immediate $2 million line of credit that helped the clinic through a capital crunch and allowed them the flexibility to make quick decisions.

“KeyBank is a critical partner as we develop our new downtown project,” said CEO Clark. “We are on the cusp of choosing a developer and a location to move to, looking at financing terms for improvements we’ll need to make in addition to reviewing our cash management.”

Streamlining Payment Processes with Patient Ease in Mind

Through Key’s initial engagement with The Portland Clinic, KeyBank’s Enterprise Payments group learned that The Portland Clinic was only using basic core treasury services. The provider didn’t offer an online patient portal and hadn’t automated accounts payable (AP) or accounts receivable (AR). However, the leadership team was ready to adopt more technology-forward methods and trusted Key to lead the way. The Enterprise Payment team did a thorough evaluation of existing procedures and could offer a customized approach utilizing their deep experience working with healthcare organizations.

The team, led by Holly Barrett, Vice President, Senior Healthcare Payments Advisor, was able to leverage its financial technology (fintech) relationships in a thoughtful way to allow for a clean and consistent integration between The Portland Clinic’s existing patient management software and a new, patient-facing payment portal powered by InstaMed. The goal was to ease the patients’ experience as much as possible.

“KeyBank is part of our blood flow here, providing oxygen to our business,” said Clark. “We’re able to look at the previous day’s deposits, and patient payments are dropping right into our account. We’ve also evolved in how we pay vendors, using automated payments, which has shortened the time in which transactions occur and made it far easier.”

Key automated some AP processes – including onboarding vendor credit card payments – and AR functions reducing the time The Portland Clinic had to spend processing paper invoices and payments. Key’s analytics allow The Portland Clinic’s accounting team to have a clearer real-time picture of cash flow. The collaboration is ongoing, and The Portland Clinic is adding new capabilities with Key that will continue to underpin the service they provide to the community.

Supporting the Financial Wellness of The Portland Clinic’s Employees

Key was also able to work directly with The Portland Clinic employees, offering educational seminars and student loan refinancing programs to support their financial wellness, underscoring The Portland Clinic’s holistic approach to employee support.

Many of The Portland Clinic’s healthcare provider employees had accumulated significant student loans and expenses through their medical training. These financial obligations are a mental burden on healthcare professionals who are trying to focus on their work and patients.

Key@Work provides in-person and online educational sessions on a wide range of finance topics to help employees manage their personal finances, control their debt and plan for the future. The Portland Clinic employees also received custom rate reductions through KeyBank’s Laurel Road student loan refinancing platform.

A Trusted Relationship During Stressed Seasons

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Portland Clinic’s executives turned to Key for additional counsel and support in evaluating their financial picture in light of the economic challenges their patients and communities were facing, as well as amending their credit agreements.

“We were on the phone with our banking representative here in Portland almost daily early in COVID,” said Clark. “KeyBank really provided a flashlight for us as we went through that dark time.”

The relationship between KeyBank’s integrated team and The Portland Clinic’s leadership has deepened as the bank has gotten to know the client beyond financials. A foundation of trust between all parties has made an unprecedented time more manageable for The Portland Clinic, so it could focus on the urgent needs of its patients.

Conclusion:

KeyBank’s team advisory approach helps The Portland Clinic manage its financial and business systems seamlessly in the background, so that it can keep its mission to improve the health and well-being of those they serve in the foreground. With a strong collaboration between The Portland Clinic’s leadership and their relationship managers at KeyBank at the core, The Portland Clinic’s employees and patients will benefit in the long term.

For information on how KeyBank can provide customized solutions steeped in healthcare industry knowledge and powered by the latest fintech for your organization, visit key.com/healthcaretrends.

KeyBank is Member FDIC.