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Subpoenas for ADA, NYSDA issued in New York patient financing query

The ADA and the New York State Dental Association were subpoenaed Aug. 16 by the New York Attorney General's Office related to an investigation into patient credit financing practices.

The attorney general is looking into GE Money's CareCredit, a company endorsed by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc. and used by many dental practices. Also named in the investigation are Chase Health Advance, Visa Health Benefits and the Citibank Health Card. The ADA has responded to the subpoena on behalf of itself and ADABEI.

In a letter to ADA leadership and House of Delegates members, ADA President Ron Tankersley and Dr. Bob Faiella, 1st District trustee and chair of ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., said their investigation into CareCredit turned up no negative information.

"Nothing we have learned since has given the ADA any reason to change its longstanding relationship with CareCredit, which has greatly benefitted both ADA members and the public," the letter stated.

The ADA shares the attorney general's concern about patient credit financing practices, and it fully supports the patient's right to understand the treatment plan and the cost of treatment, the letter said.

"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," the letter stated. "The ADA continues to encourage dental office staff to advise patients to contact financing companies directly before signing an agreement if they do not fully understand how the program works."

ADABEI fully investigates every company before entering into business relationships.

Like the ADA, the NYSDA is also working with the state attorney general's office to comply with their requests.

"NYSDA and its subsidiary, NYSDA Support Services, Inc., are complying fully and in a timely manner with requests made by New York's attorney general for this investigation," said Dr. Robert J. Doherty, NYSDA president. "We share concerns being raised by the attorney general's office. Our members are health care providers first and foremost, and we have always believed patients have a right to fully understand not only their treatment plan but costs and payment options associated with it."

CareCredit is "fully cooperating with the Attorney General's office," president and CEO Dave Fasoli said in an Aug. 16 letter to the company's providers.

"We're proud to have responsibly provided credit to millions of U.S. families for more than two decades," said Mr. Fasoli. "We're also proud of how we have helped more than 130,000 honest, hardworking practices provide payment options to their patients so they can receive the care and treatment they want or need."