ADA Press Release
ADA Statement to Capital Public Radio
Dentists are health care professionals, and they want to help their patients receive the treatment they need and want. For a variety of reasons, many patients may not have the readily available funds to pay for their care at the time of treatment. Some patients may not have dental insurance, or the insurance coverage they have may not cover the entire cost of treatment. Some patients may wish to budget their treatment costs over time instead of paying all at once. In these types of instances, CareCredit can be a useful financing option that dental offices may offer to patients in order to structure various interest and no interest payment plans to finance necessary or elective dental care.
ADA Business Resources endorses CareCredit to American Dental Association (ADA) member dentists interested in offering independent credit financing to their patients. ADA Business Resources, operated by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc. (ADABEI), is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ADA. Although the contract between ADA Business Resources and CareCredit precludes disclosure of the specific terms of the relationship between the two organizations, ADABEI receives a set fee from CareCredit based on the size of the program. This and other revenue help support the mission of the ADA.
ADABEI chose to endorse CareCredit to ADA member dentists in part because of the excellent training the company conducts with dental office staff to teach them to communicate the details of the program to interested patients. In the eight years that ADABEI has endorsed CareCredit to member dentists, the ADA has received an average of two complaints per year about the program from either member dentists or patients. When complaints are received, ADABEI advocates for both the patient and the dentist in trying to resolve the situation with CareCredit.
Many patients have benefitted from the type of credit financing offered by CareCredit. As with any loan or credit arrangement, it is important for patients to understand the terms of the finance agreement. It also is important for the patient to realize that the financing is not administered by the dental office but instead by a third-party creditor. The ADA advises member dentists to have a clear, defined financial policy for their practices. Dental office staff should encourage patients to contact CareCredit directly prior to signing a financing agreement if they do not fully understand how the program works.
The American Dental Association fully supports patients’ rights to understand their treatment plans and the costs of treatment. Financing can greatly benefit patients when it comes to paying for their dental treatment, provided that patients fully understand the terms of the financing program.