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MEDICAL CREDIT – ARE YOUR RESOURCES PROTECTED?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

          A medical credit card (dedicated solely to health purchases) can be a handy item in our wallets.   Like most existing lines of credit, it allows us to obtain the services we want, when we want them, and separates an inconvenient outlay of cash into smaller payments made over time.  Unlike procedure-specific (one time) medical financing, once this line of credit has been established, as the debt is repaid, the line of credit is available to you for reuse according to your needs and desires.

Maybe you’ve been considering a procedure with Dr. Castillo, such as facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation or liposuction; or perhaps you’ve been waiting for the “sun season” to end and want to schedule the laser resurfacing skin rejuvenation that you’ve dreamed of.  Sometimes patients request financing options or want to take advantage of an interest-free credit offer.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD, investigated all the revolving medical credit card possibilities before choosing Care Credit as the only dedicated-medical-use card that we process.  Of prime consideration in this decision was the level of financial security for our patients built into their system.  How secure is your Care Credit purchase at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, you ask?  Extremely secure, we answer!

You’ve probably become accustomed to the cavalier acceptance of credit/debit cards and bank checks that has become commonplace.  Have you wondered why your bank check is given back to you at the time of purchase from some larger merchants?  It’s because using a check at these establishments is similar to utilizing a debit card.  The tendered amount is electronically confirmed as available at the register, and deducted from your account at the time of purchase.  The advent of immediate electronic fund transfers has all but made ID checking obsolete.  This may protect the merchant during the exchange, but how does it protect you?  When was the last time a cashier asked you for identification when you handed over your bank check or credit card for payment?  In my personal experience, it’s been rare for a very long time and that’s not a good thing.   I make it a point to say “thank you” when a cashier takes the time to look at my credit card signature or ask for additional ID.

When it comes to personal finances, purchasing convenience (although important) is not my first concern.  What is most important to me is:

 

  1. Security
  2. More Security
  3. ADDITIONAL SECURITY

Did you know that every Care Credit transaction must be done in person by an authorized cardholder and requires two additional forms of identification to be presented at the time of purchase?  Did you know that the person processing the transaction has to record the IDs utilized during this step and that the cardholder has to acknowledge via signature that this additional security step has been taken.  This process is required for each and every transaction, regardless of how familiar the cardholder is to the processor.

For these reasons, if done correctly, you should never experience over-the-phone Care Credit transactions and you should never hear “that’s okay, your information is on file.”

I know that this may sound inconvenient to some in our fast-paced, “I want it yesterday” society, but when it comes to personal finances, security trumps convenience every time – our patient’s investment in themselves both deserves and demands our protection of their financial resources.

So, when you call in a mail order and are told that we no longer have access to the credit card number you utilized yesterday, or you see me glance at the front and back of your card before processing payment, please understand that your security is our prime concern.