Press Release


S.F. Giants' team physician spurs bank to create credit line easing doctors' Medicare pain

San Francisco Business Times - by Mark Calvey

October 5, 2015 -  San Francisco-based Trans Pacific National Bank has managed to find opportunity in a difficult situation: creating credit lines for doctors who face delays in Medicare reimbursement over the next several weeks as their staffs adjust to more complex billing codes.

For those blissfully unaware, Medicare implemented an "enormous expansion" of the codes Medicare and private insurers and doctors use to determine payment for services, the Wall Street Journal reported. Despite extensive training and preparation, the change isn't likely to occur without some speed bumps.

Doctors' professional groups and financial advisers have been advising practices have two to three months of working capital on hand to absorb any delays in payment.

Trans Pacific is offering doctors' practices with three to 10 doctors immediate credit lines to cope with an acute condition familiar to many small business owners: a cash crunch. (Symptoms include pervasive sweating, anxiety and, in severe episodes, insomnia.)

Trans Pacific CEO Bob Lussier credits the idea for the specialized credit line to Dr. Robert Murray, the San Francisco Giants' team physician. Murray hit a home run when he told one of Trans Pacific's directors that many small practices were bracing for Medicare reimbursement delays.

The credit lines, most for a couple hundred thousand dollars, incur interest at well under 10 percent, Lussier said.

Lussier, whose quick to say that many banks are eager to provide loans and other financial services to doctors, said he's hoping the treatment doctors receive at Trans Pacific prompt them to do more business with the bank. For instance, some banks require doctors or their staffs to come to the bank to process paperwork. Trans Pacific often sends its bankers to the doctor's office.

"You might say, 'We make house calls,' " Lussier said.

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