Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 13, 2009
As the credit crunch continues and consumers wait to have what were once some of the most-sought after cosmetic procedures, doctors are finding ways to attract new patients. Doctors that offer zero-interest financing plans or affordable payment plans are finding it easier to get patients into the door for the latest treatment.
Zero-interest financing programs are offered by companies like CareCredit, which specialize in financing for cosmetic surgery, dentistry and different types of elective surgeries. With today’s high interest rates taking their toll on standard credit card lines, few consumers are likely to ‘just charge it’ for their procedure. CareCredit works like a credit card, but offers significantly lower rates and other incentive programs for new members. Doctors must decide which offers they can accept, and patients then have an option to select from different enrollment programs.
Tony Seymour, senior vice president of sales for CareCredit, explains how the company extends credit:
“We only want to lend money to people that we think have an above average chance to pay it back. The credit quality of the incoming applications of patients applying has fallen dramatically in the last year as more patients are squeezed by this economic cycle..those who gravitate towards no interest tend to be more financially savvy and lower credit risks. “(Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)
Seymour also points out that many doctors can use this special offer as a powerful marketing tool. Patients are much more likely to book their procedure if they are not worried about upfront costs. CareCredit also offers extended payment plans up to 18 months or more for those who cannot pay off the entire balance during the speical offer period. These options make it even easier for patients to settle in for their procedure, regardless of the gloomy economic forecast.
Patient financing can be a viable alternative to paying for a procedure out-of-pocket or charging the fees to a credit card. Some doctors require a minimum amount before processing (typically $300-$500), and CareCredit is now available at dentist offices, medical spas and even some LASIK centers.
Posted in patient financing | Tagged: carecredit, Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Trends, credit cards, patient financing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 18, 2008
As consumers feel the pinch from the recent economic downturn, plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures are no longer the high priority purchases they once were.
Market analysts point out that many patients are turning to lower-priced elective surgery such as BOTOX injections to get rid of wrinkles instead of paying for a pricey face lift, and trying liposuction alternatives such as VelaShape to get rid of unwanted body fat to maintain their youthful look – and worry less about finances during the tough economic times.
Aesthetic Medicine News, a publication of The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) shares the latest insights in the cosmetic surgery market:
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery said its members are reporting an increase in noninvasive procedures like Botox injections and laser resurfacing, which are cheaper than traditional surgery.
“They’re still willing to do the smaller lunchtime procedures … in the $300 to $500 range,” said Dr. Leonard Kim, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. “But more patients have asked if they can spread payments out.”
Patients can pay for their procedures with cash, credit card or obtain patient financing through companies such as CareCredit. CareCredit is the healthcare division of GE Money, and works with hundreds of plastic surgery centers, medical spas and cosmetic rejuvenation centers to offer interest-free financing for prospective patients.
Patient financing plans vary by location and facility, but in some cases, patients can cash in with as much as twelve months of interest-free financing. Standard payment plans offer 3 to 6 months of interest-free purchases using the CareCredit card. Personal credit cards are another option for those who want to get their ‘lunchtime lipo’ fix and reduce the anxiety about immediate payments.
‘Just charge it’ may be the mantra for many cosmetic surgery patients in the oncoming months as the impact of the economic downturn continues to take its toll on consumer spending.
Posted in Cosmetic Surgery Trends, patient financing, Plastic Surgery Financing | Tagged: carecredit, Cosmetic Surgery News, Cosmetic Surgery Trends, patient financing | Leave a Comment »