Care Credit - No Longer Practicing Medicine


I was included in an email from a fellow MAPA member yesterday with some urgency regarding Care Credit ceasing to do service with their medical spa.

This physician was to the understanding that Care Credit is suspending its services to any practitioner who is not a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, cosmetic dentist or veterinarian.

Immediately my stomach got tied up in knots as I thought “here we go again... another RealSelf debacle!”. I decided to get that facts for myself being that our practice is a non-plastic, non-derm facility.

During the call I found out that this rumor is partially true in the fact that Care Credit is suspending services to facilities that:

  1. Do not have a physician on site approximately 60-70% of the time.

  2. To physicians who are primarily medical directors that mostly travel between facilities.

  3. To practices that do not have at least 60-70% of their services being cosmetic in nature.

  4. Practices that perform medical care, critical care, fertility services, long term care, pain management and weight loss services that occupy the majority of services in their practice.

  5. To physicians who do not perform at least 60-70% of those cosmetic procedures themselves.

In talking with the customer service rep, she said they have made this decision to "consolidate their strategic image" and they are not “singling out” any specific specialty. She said their main decision to decline some accounts is because they don't want to stand in the way of a medical patient receiving experimental care, or a procedure that an insurance company won’t pay for that is considered medical in nature. Although not deemed “medical” in nature, per se, fertility clinics are also being denied services. In discussing the board certification requirements, I could not get a clear and decisive answer other than physicians need to be board certified. Period.

She also told me that she could tell by our account number (the 4 digits in the center) that our account with them was initially set up as a cosmetic practice and not internal medicine. Those identifying numbers is what triggered letters to go out to certain practices and not others.

She went on to say that if anyone feels they do 60% or more cosmetic services, and the doctor is on site and performs at least 60 % of those services, they can call to dispute.

So, to clear things up for those of you who are uncertain as to your status, I asked for a copy of the letter that went out and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Here’s the crucial part of the letter:

“GE Money Bank continuously reviews our portfolio and lending criteria to anticipate and respond to market conditions, consumer needs, and strategic fit.

Upon review of our portfolio, we have determined that we will be limiting our lending partnerships in the cosmetic market to Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, Facial Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, and a small number of other Board Certified specialties performing cosmetic surgery.”

I have also heard rumors that Chase Health Advance is, or will be, taking similar action. My closing thought is, if you didn’t get a letter, then chances are you have not been rejected.

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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