CareCredit CEO: How Doctor-Patient Loyalty is enhanced by Improved Patient Billing

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Patient loyalty is critical in driving the success of every healthcare business, as a lack of patient loyalty may cost your practice more than you think. According to a study, a patient leaving due to dissatisfaction can cost a clinic $200,000 in revenue loss over the course of its lifetime.

The American Medical Association (AMA) stated in its brief, 2021 and beyond, that 30 percent of insured U.S. adults found it difficult to meet their health insurance deductibles and premiums, and that nearly half of them “reported they or a family member delayed or skipped needed healthcare or dental care in the past year due to cost.”

In a discussion with PYMNTS, CareCredit CEO Alberto (Beto) Casellas acknowledged that “insurance costs are shifting, and the proliferation of high-deductible plans have made the patient the new payer.” Consumers increasingly demand more upfront cost estimates, as well as payment flexibility.

CareCredit and Loyale HealthcareTM today announced a strategic collaboration to offer consumers a more flexible payment option to help them manage soaring healthcare costs. “The rising financial burden on patients is simply unsustainable,” observed Dan Peterson, Loyale Healthcare’s chairman and founder. “People are avoiding care, or they’re seeking care and ultimately facing financial crises as a result. By partnering with CareCredit to offer patients the option of paying for healthcare costs over time, we expect to improve patients’ care experiences and provider performance. This is the financial win-win scenario the industry – and patients – need.”

CareCredit enables patients to pay for deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and other out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures over time, allowing them to obtain the care they demand and expect. Cardholders can use their CareCredit credit card at any of its networks with more than 220,000 healthcare providers.

“We want to make sure that folks can pay their bills from a standpoint of lending those dollars, but [also] giving flexibility for that consumer that may potentially be in a situation to be stretched at the moment and need the financing to be either flexible or have more alternatives” regarding how they pay for care – he said.

More choices are coming online for “care now, pay later” installments that assist patient-consumers control expenditures, as buy now, pay later (BNPL) becomes a roaring success of payments propelled by the digital transition driven by the pandemic and associated factors.

CareCredit allows providers to get paid for services within two business days after accepting the card, with no financial risk to the provider if the patient misses or defaults on payments.

Casellas believes that specialty credit cards, which are easier for providers to operate with and enable patients to compartmentalize their spending on healthcare, are less prone to friction than installment. This strategy is working to retain increasingly critical patient-consumer loyalty.

“What we’ve been able to do, and really invest in our brand as well as in our product offering, is give that choice to the consumer to repeat the use of their card and be able to pay for those expenses,” he said.