Good medicine needs secure financing: Volksbank Mittelhessen combines financial competence and health care industry know-how. The bank’s medService advises customers from the health sector and offers tailor-made financing for business start-ups, investments, equipment and office facilities – for doctors, pharmacies and clinics.
In Middle Hessen, the pulse of the medical sector can be felt everywhere. Numerous clinics – including the University Clinic of Giessen and Marburg – care for patients. Three regional universities train young academics in medicine and health care management, who then spread their knowledge into the region and promote innovation and a start-up culture. Healthcare industry is a healthy, functioning entity here: “In Middle Hessen, the entire healthcare industry is in the direct vicinity of major international corporations, highly-established regional and medium-sized companies or ambitious start-ups,” explains Thomas Falkenrodt, Head of medService at Volksbank Mittelhessen. Falkenrodt advises doctors, pharmacists and hospitals. What unites physicians, pharmacists, biologists and chemists is that they all have a scientific education, but little experience in finance. That is why many of them rely on an Falkenrodt’s division, known as medService.
Partner für die Medizinbranche
MedService was founded by Volksbank Mittelhessen especially for health professionals. Falkenrodt has been managing the division for 13 years. “Our range of products is unique in the region within the cooperative network,” he says. “We attach great importance to personal advice and contact maintenance and provide our employees with the opportunity to expand their skills through ongoing internal and external measures.” The numbers speak for themselves: Every year the medService team looks after up to 1,000 customers. Doctors, dentists, pharmacists, hospital managers and therapists make up the majority of these.
Since its foundation in 2007, the medService team has increasingly focused on the special needs of its customers. “We know the special requirements and know from experience where the most frequent difficulties and pitfalls occur,” says Falkenrodt. One fact in particular distinguishes the work of his team from that of their bank colleagues in other consulting areas, Falkenrodt continues: “The healthcare industry is subject to strict legal regulations. There are complex approval procedures and a correspondingly lengthy time-to-market.” All of these factors must be kept in mind when developing a financing concept.
What began as a one-man show at Volksbank Mittelhessen is now a team of five specialized employees. Thanks to numerous training courses and years of practice, the team understands the healthcare industry and its specifics. Each of them is based in a different Middle Hessen district and is always available locally. And both the team and the range of financial products has grown over the years: from tailor-made financing for medical equipment and practice fittings, through public subsidies to insurance, investments or provisions for the future. The team’s holistic concept also includes solutions for private financial matters.
The medService also offers support outside the core business of a bank, says Falkenrodt: “We accompany business start-ups of medical physicians, organize specialist conferences and physician workshops. In addition, we develop individual financial planning concepts for doctors, pharmacists and their staff teams or give tips on organizing practices.” Even special topics such as hospital financing have become a particular strength of Volksbank Mittelhessen.
In the video, Thomas Falkenrodt, head of medService at Volksbank Mittelhessen, explains the role of economic efficiency in medicine.
The individual is the focus
But specialist knowledge is not the only hallmark of the medService team To give the best advice, the team has to also see the overall context and the individuals they work with. “As in all areas of consulting, personal contact has the highest priority for us. We want to get to know and understand each customer personally and as well as possible. This is the only way we can identify early on which loan model is suitable or whether the repayment plan is perhaps too ambitious,” says Falkenrodt.
The basis is the so-called Practical Dialogue (PraxisDialog), extensive discussions with the personal consultant. Here, the aim is to develop a strategy to achieve the client’s goals, Falkenrodt adds. “We are trying to take a joint look into the future, that is, the next five to ten years, and clarify: What are your goals and wishes? Is there already a strategy to achieve them or does you want to develop a plan together with us?” The priorities of the customers are very different. While for one person the focus is on developing their practice, another person wants to build up assets, hedge risks or fulfil a special wish. “The client determines what we focus on in the Practical Dialogue. This is the focus of attention,” explains Falkenrodt. In any case, Volksbank’s concept seems to be working, and the customer response speaks for itself: 99 percent satisfaction rate. “We are very proud of this feedback,” says Falkenrodt. “The whole team is full of passion and enjoys their work.”
Holistic advice thanks to a partner network
In addition to the healthcare know-how, the medService team is also extensively networked in the region. “Thanks to our many years of experience, we can answer almost any question – and for the remaining cases, we maintain skilled partnerships,” says Falkenrodt. In addition to the wide-ranging network of specialists, the medService team’s close cooperation with regional organizations and the Healthcare Middle Hessen initiative offers a plus in knowledge and support. This also reflects the strength of the Central Hesse region. “It is not a single player, but the interaction of all those involved in a common system that makes the healthcare industry here a strong and healthy organism with a future,” said Falkenrodt.
Volksbank Mittelhessen considers itself a competent and reliable partner in the region. The promotion of its more than 200,000 members has been its most important mission for more than 160 years. At its 80 locations, 1,300 employees maintain direct contact with the people of Central Hessen. In accordance with its cooperative values, the bank advises its more than 340,000 customers in a spirit of solidarity, partnership and personal service. Through numerous projects and activities, Volksbank Mittelhessen and its members generate positive results that have an impact on the entire region.