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Health care industry manufacturers reported $7.52 billion in payments and ownership and investment interests to physicians and teaching hospitals in 2015.  

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At a time where costs are rising and margin pressure continues to grow, certain institutions consistently perform above the rest. These top performers have specific common characteristics that drive their success. All of these common characteristics relate to the leadership and culture that management creates within the institution. Financial institution management should use the top performing institutions as role models, identify the keys to their success and implement strategies that will fit within the environment of their own institution.  

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A recent FICO survey revealed that 29 percent of millennials will move their money out of a financial institution that has experienced a fraudulent incident. This percentage was higher than older generations. The plethora of options for consumers in the financial institution industry as well as the ease of switching has partially driven the trend for millennials to make a change should their bank be the victim of some kind of attack. Although most institutions have similar defenses against fraudulent activity, this hasn't prevented millennials from closing accounts and moving to other institutions. The public perception may be inaccurate, but the ease with which one can switch institutions emphasizes the importance of a strong cybersecurity system to safeguard against fraudulent activity and retain customers. 

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As with most industries, advancements in technology and consumer habits have been changing the landscape in which financial institutions engage and provide services to their customers.  Industry experts expect certain trends during 2016 that are hallmarks of this evolving environment to continue, such as increased mobile and remote banking and fewer customers actually making the trip to a physical branch.

These experts also anticipate that technology used mostly by larger banks, like remote deposits, chip cards, and support for mobile payments (e.g. Apple pay), will pick up steam with smaller, regional institutions as these technologies become more engrained in the consumer space.  Actual financial product offerings, though, are generally expected to remain the same.  Overall, institutions wanting to keep up with industry trends should focus their efforts on integrating technologies that provide competitive mobile and remote tools and services for customers who are becoming more accustomed to having these options available to them; whereas, altering the lineup or structure of products seems to be under much less of a spotlight. 

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Last summer the State of Illinois announced the launch of the new Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) known as Illinois' Medicaid Program Advanced Could Technology (IMPACT). In order to transition to the new information system, billing agents, billing providers, and individuals rendering or servicing Medicaid individuals are required to revalidate their information in the new IMPACT system.  

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As employment growth rises and the economy appears to be back on track, Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair, continues to see interest rate hikes coming in 2016.  She didn't give any determination as to how soon these rate increases would be administered but based on the upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy it appears as though the Fed is ready to raise rates again.   

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The day of reckoning for financial institutions is upon us.  On Friday, June 16, 2016, the FASB issued the most substantial change to financial institution accounting in many years.  There has been a high volume of chatter, discussion, hand wringing and push-back form the financial institution community on the proposed CECL Standard.  Now that the standard is final, what are the next steps for financial institutions?  Financial institutions should form a CECL Implementation Committee (if not already done), analyze the standard, accumulate loan level data and begin the early stages of formulating a model for the calculation.   

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I came across this article with real-life examples a day before seeing Eastern Bank's retiring CEO appear in a TV commercial about the impact of data breaches and identity theft on community banks and their customers.  The timing is not coincidental: smaller banks are struggling to keep up with the technology needed to stay one step ahead of cybercrime, and criminals recognize easy targets when they see them.  Although industry groups have formed a united front against cybercrime, community banks are still less likely to have the sophisticated tools to prevent and react to it, and more likely to have customers who may be slow to recognize and mitigate a breach.  As a result, community banks represent the best possible scenario for hackers. Read full atricle here >>
 

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Regulatory agencies have clarified the expectations for the use of evaluations instead of appraisals to estimate a property's market value for certain real estate related transactions.  That being said, the evaluation preparer should be knowledgeable, competent and independent of the loan production function of the Institution.  Although there are no strict guidelines on how evaluations should be prepared, an institution should establish internal policies and procedures that specify the information that is required to prepare an evaluation. Lastly, regardless of the methodology used or approach taken in preparing the evaluation, it should contain sufficient and understandable information to support the market value and the Institution's ultimate decision of whether or not to engage in the real estate transaction. 

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Tier 1 Capital and Collateralized Debt Obligations Backed by Trust Preferred Securities  

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FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
HEALTH CARE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
 
 
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