It started out as a chat over dinner and cocktails between a director of Trans Pacific National Bank and Dr. Robert Murray, a part-time physician for the San Francisco Giants.
Murray, an accounting client of the board member, discussed a sea change in the U.S. health care system's coding framework that could cause reimbursement delays for doctors.
The change, which kicked in Oct. 1, has increased the number of diagnostics codes health care providers must select from 14,000 to 70,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. It has been described as the Y2K problem of health care.
The $114 million-asset Trans Pacific decided to turn doctors' impending short-term cash flow need into an opportunity to draw in new clients: it launched a credit line product for doctors, according to bank officials who told the Murray anecdote in explaining the new product.
The San Francisco bank plans to offer physicians loans ranging from $200,000 to $1 million, set at prime plus 1%.
"We thought it would be a good idea to try and reach out to the doctors and let them know that if they have a difficulty they should give us a call," Chief Executive Bob Lussier told American Banker. "It's a matter of identifying a need, trying to figure out if there's a way that the bank could take care of that need."