Outpatient Surgery Magazine

No More Never Events - February 2014 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Daniel Cook BUSINESS ADVISOR 2 6 O U T P AT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 The New Rules for CareCredit Cards Will a more burdensome application process help protect patients? B y now, you've probably heard the news about CareCredit, the healthcare credit card company that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined $34.1 million for "unfair and deceptive enrollment and disclosure practices." In making the first public enforcement action against deferred-interest products, the CFPB alleges that patients signed up for CareCredit cards thinking they were interest-free and unaware that accruing interest kicked in if the full balance wasn't paid in full at the end of promotional periods rang- ing from 6 to 24 months. The CFPB has imposed a potentially burdensome application process. CareCredit is now required to: • enhance disclosures of the deferred-interest plan on applications and billing statements; • warn patients in advance when the promotional period is ending; and • contact patients within 72 hours of the initial transaction to explain the payment plan in detail and directly enroll customers — instead of letting facilities handle it — for certain transactions of more than $1,000. There's fallout for you as well. Facilities that use CareCredit must pro- vide plain-language disclosure forms to patients before they sign up for the card, and staff who market the cards to patients must undergo mandatory company-sponsored training. The staff at the Physicians Care Surgical Hospital in Royersford, Pa., emphasizes CareCredit's interest-free grace period every time they men- tion the card, says Jennifer Ryan, CPC, the hospital's business office manager. So does Ashley Mamas, CPC, business office manager of the St. Augustine (Fla.) Surgery Center, who says patients often don't read every word of what can be confusing credit card applications. Ms. OSE_1402_part1_Layout 1 2/6/14 2:47 PM Page 26

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