Banks in the back seat

As everyone knows, this hasn't exactly been a banner year for the lending industry. The pox cast upon the markets by the mortgage meltdown has hit financial organizations everywhere, including those who didn't make risky home-loan bets over the past few years. That may be why you won't see quite as many banks competing for your attention at this year's show. That being said, the industry will always be ready to finance more secure bets like medical equipment leases, cash management and asset-backed lines of credit. Both giants like Bank of America and Citigroup's CitiCapital, as well smaller players like Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank are represented at the show.

That being said, even if banks aren't begging to finance you these days, there will definitely be a real estate funding presence at HFMA. While hospital and medical group capital expansion projects may or may not get funded--depending, in part, on how you've weathered the bond interest crisis--there definitely are companies ready to build out and manage medical office and outpatient treatment centers. REITs are finding that medical real estate is one of their safer bets these days, given expanding demand for ambulatory services fueled by maturing baby boomers. There's definitely some opportunities worth exploring here, particularly if you're ready to expand your physician relationships and can't afford your own build-out right now.