As a cosmetic plastic surgeon, I get emails all the time from CareCredit (a company that offers healthcare financing for patients) suggesting ways for us caregivers to better engage potential patients on our website. Here are just a couple. 1) Let the consumer know their financing options up front. 2) Allow them to apply for financing online before the consultation.
Reasonable, right? The only problem is they’re forgetting the most important part of the consumer financing equation. How much to apply for!
How would a patient know how much to apply for if they don’t know the estimated cost of the procedure?! CareCredit should make it easy for the prospective patient to get a really good idea of the cost. That way, they can get adequate financing set up before they come in for the consultation? Why waste everyone’s time forcing a consultation that ends in sticker shock?! What doctor wouldn’t love a patient that shows up for their consultation price-aware and financing-approved?! CareCredit had the opportunity to implement this patient-satisfying detail into their financing process but they didn’t.
Background to the CareCredit missed opportunity
I reached out to CareCredit a year ago and provided them with an online demo of our BuildMyBod Health Price Estimator platform. While the CareCredit representative did eventually agree to an online demo after prodding by her CEO, her reaction after the demo was disappointing. She either resented being “forced” into the demo by her CEO or she just didn’t get the premise of what I was offering them.
I was suggesting that they integrate our Price Estimator onto the profile pages of our mutual physician clients. So for example, when a consumer found a BuildMyBod doctor on the CareCredit website, they could check the estimated cost using the Price Estimator on the doctor’s CareCredit profile page. After providing their contact information to generate the quote, the consumer would then use that estimate to apply for an appropriate amount of financing to cover the cost of the procedure. The result?
- a new patient lead
- with a reasonable understanding of the cost of the procedure they’re considering,
- and financially approved for the cost of that procedure upon arrival to their consultation.
A win-win-win for everyone!
I would think it’d be obvious to a company like CareCredit that they could close more financing deals with prospective patients if the patient knew how much the procedure was going to cost and didn’t experience sticker shock at the time of consultation. And because BuildMyBod’s Price Estimator captures the consumer’s contact info in the process of providing them with a price quote, it’s a win for everyone involved.
The doctor receives a lead of a patient interested in the services the physician provides. The patient gets accurate pricing information specific to that doctor. And keep in mind that a particular doctor’s pricing is something the consumer can’t find anywhere else on the internet, so they’re motivated enough to give their contact info in exchange for an estimate.
Sure, they can get US averages on procedures but an average does not translate into actionable information. CareCredit would also be able to follow up and encourage the patient to apply for financing after they submitted their “wishlist” to check pricing. So who misses out in this scenario? CareCredit. Because they have their head up their a$$. They apparently don’t see the potential in offering consumers estimates prior to applying for financing. Spread the word and let your CareCredit representative know!
If you’re a physician and you want to use price transparency to generate leads and take advantage of an amazing customer service opportunity, click here!