By: Michael R. Politzer ., O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D.
Patients are excited when they realize that “something can be done” to help them meet their goals for improved functional vision performance. However, if not carefully managed, this excitement can quickly turn into despair when discussions of payment begin.
Some patients can purchase their low vision aids through state supported programs or private insurance. Medicare however, will not pay for low vision aids.
Medicare patients are therefore left with only these standard payment options; cash, check or bank cards. Most patients are on a fixed income and do not have the cash flow to pay for their low vision aids. Others have maximized their credit cards and have no available credit. Still others have savings but are unwilling to take an early withdraw and lose the accrued interest.
Fortunately there is a solution for these patients. CITI bank (800-950-5114) and GE/Care Credit (800-839-9078) provide a flexible funding source.
Advantages for the patient include:
1. Twelve months of equal payments with interest free financing.
2. No prepayment penalties.
3. Easy ten (10) minute application process
4. Approval within minutes
Advantages for the doctor include:
1. No up-front costs
2. No annual fees.
3. Submit application via phone, fax or on-line
4. Payment in three days
By providing a twelve-month equal payment schedule, patients are more likely to purchase all of the aids you recommend. They can more easily budget their low vision aid purchases thereby reducing the stress and doubt that are often associated with major purchase decisions.
Patients benefit by receiving the aids they need and the doctor benefits from increased sales and enhanced cash flow. Try it; you and your patients will like it.