Samaritan Health Services is committed to improving the health of people living in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Central Oregon Coast, starting with their own team members. With creative incentives like gym memberships and fitness trackers, the not-for-profit network of hospitals, clinics and health services helps its employees stay healthy while keeping healthcare costs down. Helping the community stay healthy was obvious to Samaritan Health, but increasing revenue through accounts payable (AP) wasn’t as easy.
"Commerce saves us up to $50,000 a year in check processing costs."- Samaritan Health Services
When Commerce Bank approached Samaritan in 2015 with a way to increase rebate incentives, Samaritan wasn’t quite convinced. Instead of paying vendors with checks, Samaritan could pay participating vendors electronically and receive a revenue share in return. But Samaritan had implemented similar programs with its primary bank and a credit card company. "Those programs required a lot of work on our part, and the results were marginal," says Kenyon Butler, Samaritan’s Accounts Payable Manager.
Julie Brock, a Commerce Account Executive based in Portland, Oregon, explained they could recover thousands of dollars they were leaving on the table – with very little effort on their part. "That got my attention," Kenyon recalls.
In March 2016, Samaritan invited Commerce to implement the AP program and the Commerce team went to work contacting vendors to set up automated electronic payments. "They quickly became our most successful partner," Kenyon says.
Today, Commerce averages $1.5 million in monthly payments through the program and Revenue shares exceeded first-year projections by 6 percent, and Samaritan has been able to cover the salaries of its four-person AP team, transforming the group from a cost center to a profit center. No longer paying with checks, Samaritan has also been able to save up to $50,000 a year in check processing costs.
"Commerce now handles the majority of Samaritan’s electronic payments," says Kenyon. "That was not our intention. But they made it way too easy for us. It’s a terrific program."
Like Samaritan, healthcare providers can seize opportunities to increase revenue, cut costs and maybe even turn their AP department into a profit center. The key is finding a solution that aligns well with the organization’s processes – without tying up resources in implementation. CommerceHealthcare® offers healthier AP solutions for healthcare providers, backed by hands-on customer service. Learn more about AP Solutions or feel free to contact us.
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