The Star Tribune reported that the state of Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against a suburban Twin Cities chiropractic clinic over its use of health care credit cards. The lawsuit says the clinic fraudulently issued credit cards to patients.
This is what the clinic did: they aggressively enrolled patients with a CareCredit Credit Card and then placed charges up to $5,040 on the patients’ accounts without their knowledge. In addition, the clinic charged $30,000 a month or more to the credit card company as well as a total of more than $560,000 to its patients’ accounts between the end of 2006 and April 2009.
CareCredit is a GE Money Company that provides credit cards to patients to “help” them with treatments and procedures if they cannot afford to pay upfront. According to their web site, CareCredit offers a variety of no-interest and low monthly payment plans. It works just like a credit card but gives you payments over time. If you pay off the entire balance within 3, 6, 8 or 12 months the site claims that there is no interest. But if you pay within 24, 35, 48 or 60 months 13.9% interest will be charged to you. However, the site doesn’t mention that the maximum interest is 29.9%.
According to CareCredit they have over 100,000 providers – dentists, chiropractors, veterinarians, eye doctors, etc. However, when the health care provides aggressively market these cards, beware of unethical practices.