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RBC buys billing firm MDBilling.ca for undisclosed sum in latest health care push

TORONTO — Royal Bank said Tuesday that it has bought MDBilling.ca, a cloud-based platform that automates medical billing for Canadian physicians, in the latest move by banks to provide financial services to the sector.

The deal, which Royal Bank didn't say how much it was worth, comes after the bank bought Dr.Bill, another medical billing company, in 2020.

"Since the launch of our Healthcare practice, we have worked to make billing easier for physicians through RBCx's venture Dr.Bill. The acquisition of MDBilling.ca helps further this pursuit," said Sid Paquette, head of RBCx, the bank's new tech-focused venture division, in a statement.

Competition in the space got a big boost in 2018 after Scotiabank acquired MD Financial Management, a provider of financial services to doctors and their families, from the Canadian Medical Association for $2.6 billion.

At the time, Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter said there was room to grow its services in the physician community, with significant opportunities to deepen relationships through the bank's retail, private business, and small business products and services.

Later in 2018, TD Bank Group launched a specialized wealth management service for health care professionals to provide a one-stop shop for a range of financial needs for doctors, dentists and other health practitioners.

CIBC also widened its offering for the field in 2019 with a comprehensive banking offer for physicians that covers both business and personal banking to help them "achieve their goals from residency to retirement."

Royal Bank launched its RBC Healthcare division in 2018 and added a membership program a year later with products and perks focused on health care professionals.

The latest billing acquisitions by the bank provide another pipeline for potential clients.

Royal Bank said the MDBilling.ca software helps doctors spend less time doing paperwork, and support's the bank's strategy of providing solutions for physicians at every stage of their career.

In announcing the deal, Royal Bank noted that it has more than 1,100 health care specialists trained to provide advice and support for the sector.

Toronto-based MDBilling.ca, which services physicians in Ontario and British Columbia, was founded in 2008 and is used by close to 9,000 physicians.

Jaime Wong, co-founder and CEO of MDBilling.ca, says the deal is a great opportunity for the company's employees and clients as it moves into its next phase of growth.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RY)

Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press