NAB Health: Recognizing the Specific Needs of Customers in the Healthcare Sector [Interview][Transcript]

Nehemiah_Richardson_NAB_HealthGuest: Nehemiah Richardson
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Nehemiah Richardson is General Manager, nabHealth, a leading provider of financial services to the Australian Health Care industry owned by National Australia Bank Ltd.Nehemiah has had a very diverse and successful career in financial services spanning senior roles in mergers and acquisitions advisory, corporate finance, funds management, corporate development and people leadership roles at JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and National Australia Bank. Nehemiah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, get to know more about the services that NAB Health has to offer especially to healthcare professionals as we are joined by General Manager Nehemiah Richardson. A banking service provider that is dedicated to the healthcare sector and having a deep understanding as to how the system work in order to assist their customers the best way possible.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio, my name is Wayne Bucklar. Today I’m joined by Nehemiah Richardson, the General Manager of NAB health and Nehemiah joins me today from Western Australia. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Nehemiah.

Nehemiah Richardson: Yes, thank you very much Wayne. It’s great to be here.

W: Now can you tell me a little about NAB Health and the services you provide and what geographical footprint it has? Because it’s not a brand that springs instantly to my mind.

N: Yes. No worries at all Wayne, I guess first thing to say us NAB Health is a business section that’s within the National Australia Bank here in Australia.

W: Uh huh.

N: And we’re a business that was launched in 2007 actually, and it was born out of our business bank because we’re a leading commercial bank here in Australia with the recognition that the healthcare sector had some very specific needs. And as a result of that, we wanted to build a business that would specialize in understanding the healthcare sector and all of those who run businesses or services within that so that we can provide better insight and support to meet the needs for those customers. So where we are today is we have 300 specialist health bankers in 11 locations around the country. We have dedicated credit support; that is people who help support and underwrite the credit or do the credit assessment for our clients, as well as a specific or dedicated product support, so whether it be an insurance specialist, a corporate superannuation specialist, a working capital management specialist, or deposit specialist; we have all of the products and services that we provide as an organization. We have dedicated individuals across those products to service our healthcare customers. Within that we have three brands, the first is “HICAPs” and HICAPs is a very significant player in the health claiming market.

W: Yes.

N: So many of, I guess many of your health care professionals are probably familiar with HICAPs. Not all of them would necessarily know that National Australia Bank owns HICAPs. The second is a business called “Medfin” which services the practitioner market and then the NAB Health brand which services individual practitioners right through to significant corporate size service providers including large hospital providers, public hospitals as well as aged care.

W: It’s interesting that NAB’s kind of dedicated a business to the health vertical. What are the characteristics to the vertical from your perspective?

N: Sorry, in what context do you mean?

W: Well I’m just… are health professionals so different from other professionals that kind of justifies a different approach?

N: Yes, I think there are three different things. One is, there is 70 to 80 cents of every dollar that’s actually spent in health comes from government.

W: Yeah.

N: So when you think about it, whether it’s the PBS or the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme which kind of has a big influence on the economics in the pharmacy industry in the whole pharmacy value chain, from pharmacists to manufacturer or the MBS the Medical Benefits Scheme which is subject to a lot of bulk billing. But in the end, most of primary healthcare is actually funded by the MBS. In aged care, you have “Living longer and living better” reforms. Across the board in every sector across the continuum of care, a significant amount of the GDP that gets generated and the funding that’s provided into the sector comes from government. Which means whether it’s state or federal, or state or commonwealth and so what’s important is in trying to support our customers, it’s not always the case that our customers will be getting on top of every single reform or all the changes that might be mooted until they sometimes happen. So it’s really important to actually have, in our view, it’s very important to support investment and growth in those sectors; to have a partner who has a scale and capacity to have a deep understanding of the specifics, how these businesses whether they be in primary health care as individuals through to corporate operators, that we do have that level of understanding so we can actually support our customers to thrive in that environment as well as to support our customers to adapt and change as things change.

W: It does certainly makes sense and that idea of a banking service provider with a deep understanding of how your industry sector works, I think is just invaluable and certainly there would be lots of people who are health professionals who would have been very frustrated by the idea that their financing doesn’t understand the way their business model works.

N: Yes, absolutely. And we found that as well which is why the way that we try to support our customers has significant regard to that understanding which then allows us to do things that might be more bespoke for health customers and for, I guess more diversified our generic type customers. And that’s why it’s also important for us to have this dedicated credit stream, so that the people who provide sort of credit approvals to support our customers and our frontline bankers are dedicated to health as well. So they maintain that, I guess call it, “intellectual property and understanding” because it is a dynamic environment – health – and you really do need to have that level of understanding today as well as to anticipate what’s gonna happen tomorrow.

W: Nehemiah Richardson General manager with NAB Health. The art of the possible is something that obviously occupies a lot of your time and it’s a pleasure to discuss with you. And it’s a pleasure to discuss with you what you see happening in the health vertical. Your passion is clear and evident and I’m sure will have lots and lots of listeners very eager to get in touch and engage with NAB Health. How is the best way they do that? Is it a website?

H: Yes, you can go the website and just search “health”. And our landing page will come up, our “Health View” and our “Health Insights” will come up and contact details, so the key leaders and business including myself are there. So you’ll see our email addresses as well as our phone numbers depending on what geographic location you’re in. And we’re more than happy to take your call and to do what we can to support to support people across the health care industry.

W: Well today we might have managed to spread a little bit of the word about NAB Health. And I certainly can see many of our listeners having an acute interest in your vision for the world. Thank you for your time today. If you’ve just joined us on Health Professional Radio then you’ve just missed a very fascinating conversation with Nehemiah Richardson, General Manager of NAB Health. But the good news is we have a transcript on our website. You can also hear the original audio on YouTube and on SoundCloud. This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

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