velera How Credit Union Innovation Can Drive Gen Z Engagement May 2024 Banner

Synchrony Expands CareCredit to More Dental Practices

Consumer financial services company Synchrony has teamed with dental practice-focused healthcare firm Affordable Care.

The collaboration will make CareCredit, Synchrony’s health and wellness credit card, available as a payment option at more than 450 dental practices to help them finance dental implants and dentures, according to a Thursday (May 2) press release.

“The high price of care is prohibitive for many patients, especially for those seeking dental care such as implants and dentures, which often are considered elective,” Matt Muscolo, general manager of Synchrony’s dental practice business, said in the release.

“Our goal is to provide patients with the financing options they need to pursue their health and wellness goals.”

According to the release, CareCredit, one of the industry’s first health and wellness credit cards, has been endorsed by major names in the dental industry including the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry and American Association of Dental Office Management and is accepted at more than 118,000 dental care locations.

As PYMNTS noted earlier this year, dental services account for a $155 billion market that is projected to grow to $254 billion by 2032.

“Against that backdrop, it’s critical, especially in an inflationary environment, to include financing at the point of treatment to marry patient care with dental services and help ensure that practices collect on the monies owed,” that report said.

Ed O’Donnell, CEO of Versatile Credit, said in an interview with PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster that financing can vastly help smooth the initial conversations between dentists and patients when it is time to discuss costs.

O’Donnell — whose platform matches lenders and patients to draft payment terms that are repaid over time — said financing options should be offered at the point of care, not just as each dentist visit is concluded.

“It’s awkward for everyone,” said O’Donnell. “It’s awkward for the patient and is often awkward for the financial person in the office.”

But by staggering payments, those conversations become easier, he added.

Financing can be helpful for consumers looking for other forms of health and wellness offerings, Erin Gadhavi, senior vice president, general manager, wellness at Synchrony, said in an interview with PYMNTS in January.

“Fifty percent of U.S. consumers consider wellness a top priority, but services like acupuncture, fitness programs, nutritional support and counseling are often considered elective and not covered by insurance,” she said.

“Offering financing for those products and services is attractive to consumers. Patients can make an informed decision related to their care, but also with respect to their budget — leading to a more engaged and healthier customer base.”