By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
You might be as surprised as we were to learn that there are about eight million people who have elective care financing instantly available–and don’t know it. Astoundingly, they simply may not know that they can afford the dentistry, vision correction, hearing care or cosmetic treatments that they want.
Here’s the hidden business and marketing opportunity we uncovered that could benefit both patients and providers. It’s all about a simple, but easily cured, disconnect between provider and patient.
On the consumer side, it turns out that there are large numbers of prospective patients who already have interest-free or extended-payment credit plans in their pocket. Over the years, CareCredit—one of the best-known names in third party financing—has tens of millions of consumers…about eight million of them are current, active accounts.
Although they used a CareCredit card for elective care in the past, the problem is they don’t realize the same card opens the door to many other professions and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. (We know one person, for example, who used CareCredit for veterinary services and was unaware that the program could also be used for dermatology care for herself.)
The other part of this “disconnect” is on the provider side.
Those practices that are CareCredit providers will sometimes fail to let patients know that this affordability option is available. From a marketing perspective, it’s helpful to let people know that they can use CareCredit even if it is from another profession or provider.
As we often talk about, there’s a big difference between price and affordability. Consumers are increasingly concerned about finding exceptional value in elective healthcare. They may feel that the lump-sum cost of Lasik surgery or a cosmetic dental procedure is out of their reach.
But if they see the investment as affordable—where the sought-after service is expressed as being within their financial means—they are willing to buy. Options such as no-interest payment plans or extending payment plans can make elective care attractive to even the cautious shopper. Let prospective patients know about CareCredit and affordability options on your website as well as in the office.
There’s more information here for healthcare providers, and more about affordability options for patients in this Healthcare Success article. And if you have questions or would like to discuss additional ideas that fit your practice marketing plan, reach out to us today.