CareCredit Continues Its Expansion in Vision Care

By
By Marge Axelrad: Editorial Director

 
CareCredit is growing its presence among eyecare
practices and optical shops.
COSTA MESA, Calif.—Continuing to grow its presence among eyecare professionals in the U.S, this year CareCredit will celebrate its 25th anniversary of helping patients access the care they want, when they want it.

Established in 1987 and a part of GE Capital, CareCredit ( www.carecredit.com) was initially offered by practices as another way for patients to pay for new dental implants. Since then, CareCredit has continued to focus solely on health care and has helped more than 20 million patients get care. The CareCredit health care credit card is now accepted at 150,000 enrolled practices nationwide including veterinary, ophthalmology, cosmetic, audiology, podiatry, chiropractic, optometry and other specialties.

CareCredit began actively engaging ophthalmology practices in 1998 and, through referrals from ophthalmologists who had CareCredit available as a payment option, many optometric practices enrolled from 1998 to 2010.

In 2010, the company began actively engaging optometry practices and today has over 9,000 optical/dispensary providers in the U.S. Of its total practices, the company has enrolled approximately 11,000 practices, which include refractive, OD and optical locations.

The goal of the company, particularly this year, will be to take a more visible role in the field, as it targets the U.S. market. “It’s been a privilege to serve the doctors and teams who make CareCredit available to patients,” said Dave Fasoli, president, CareCredit. “Reaching our silver 25th anniversary is important, but in many ways we view it as only the beginning. Helping patients access care is a long-term commitment that we have embraced as a company. We will continue to work hard to meet patients’ changing needs, so more can hear better, see better, feel more confident and smile bigger.”

CareCredit works similarly to a department store credit card, but can only be used for health care expenses. Patients apply for CareCredit online or by phone, either at home or while they are at the practice. Credit decisions are provided almost instantly. When approved, the patient can immediately use CareCredit to pay for care not covered by insurance. The patient pays the minimum monthly payment requirements and the balance in full within the specified time frame. Once they have made payment on their account, patients can use the CareCredit health care credit card again to get the care they want.

Ellen Fitzgerald, OD, of Fitzgerald Family Eye-
care, P.C, Douglas, Ga. recently added CareCredit to help patients get the optical products they prefer. She said, “Since we started using CareCredit, our patients have been very satisfied. They are pleased that we offer payment plans for the first time. More patients purchase a second pair of glasses. We also sell a greater number of one-year-supply contact lenses. Before, most patients purchased one box at a time.”

CareCredit will be marking its anniversary throughout the year and also at this month’s Vision Expo East with several activities including a presentation at the Medical Science Theater on March 23 titled “CareCredit Made Simple—Benefits to Enhance Your Practice.”

maxelrad@jobson.com