A new player in town

April 1, 2008
Chase has entered the dental market with ChaseHealthAdvace. Here's what you need to know about this new product.

Chase has entered the dental market with ChaseHealthAdvance.
Here's what you need to know about this new product.

Editor's Note: The following is an interview with Hugh Bleemer, President, ChaseHealthAdvance financing options. This is a new product available to dental offices, and DE® is honored to have the exclusive first interview with Bleemer (pictured below).

Dental Economics®: What is ChaseHealthAdvance?
Hugh Bleemer: ChaseHealthAdvance is a patient financing product that is part of Chase. ChaseHealthAdvance provides attractive payment options that health-care providers can offer their patients to finance orthodontia and dental treatments. We give providers practice-building strategies and technology to increase treatment acceptance and grow revenue.

DE: Why has Chase entered the health-care financing market?
Bleemer: Rising medical and dental costs have created a need for new and adaptive health-care financing options. The demand for elective procedures — particularly dental, vision correction and cosmetic procedures — is increasing at a rapid rate. Chase is a premier financial leader that can provide affordable, flexible options for those looking to finance dental treatment plans and health-care procedures.

DE: We've covered why Chase has entered the market. Now I'm interested to know what exactly differentiates ChaseHealthAdvance from other lenders' offerings.
Bleemer: What really attracts patients are no-interest payment plans. With no-interest programs of 3, 6, 12, 18, and even 24 months, ChaseHealthAdvance offers the most comprehensive range of this very popular financing product.

Essential to this business is approvals. We know that even if we have great payment plans and low service fees, if applications are not approved, that doesn't work for anyone — the practice, the patient, or us. We believe our approval rates are second-to-none in this business. We encourage providers to run us against the competition to see who has the best approval rates.

Technology is another critical area where we believe we are clearly the leader in this business. Our provider Web site, HealthAdvance-Online, allows providers to submit and track patient applications, submit fundings, and view reports. HealthAdvance-Online also offers a wide range of free marketing tools and services.

Last, but certainly not least, ChaseHealthAdvance believes in "Wow" customer service. Every provider is assigned a knowledgeable practice-management consultant who trains the doctors and staff, and then works with them to build their practice and meet their business goals. Our practice-management consultants are always just a phone call away. When you call us, you don't get an automated phone system with a punch-the-numbers menu. You get a live person.

DE: How else do your practice-management consultants differ from sales representatives of other lending companies?
Bleemer: At ChaseHealthAdvance, our goal is to offer practice solutions, not just a patient financing product. Our practice consultants are trained in a particular specialty such as dental, orthodontia, etc. This gives them a better understanding and feel for the particular culture of that specialty, which allows them to better assist practices in meeting their goals and objectives.

For example, if a provider is an orthodontist, the practice consultant will have been specially trained in orthodontia health-care lending. Our orthodontia practice consultants understand such nuances as the fact that historically orthodontia practices that offered their own financing have not charged interest. This is one reason our no-interest payment plans are so attractive to orthodontists.

DE: Are you seeing a trend of patients needing financing for orthodontia?
Bleemer: Absolutely. There is a definite upward trend. We are the only company in the industry that offers a 24-month, no-interest payment plan. This plan closely parallels the payment plans of practices that offer their own financing. In addition, our plan has the added benefit of eliminating the down payment barrier. Practices who offer this payment plan find that it boosts their business and at the same time, gets them out of the banking business.

DE: I'm sure many of our readers are familiar with or even use Unicorn Financial Services — a company that Chase recently acquired. How will the merger benefit patients and providers?
Bleemer: Chase is committed to providing the best products possible. Unicorn's impressive reputation and rapid growth made it an attractive acquisition that fit perfectly into our growth strategy for the health-care financing business. In acquiring Unicorn, we were able to enter the patient financing business by building upon the expertise of a company with a great track record that has been in business for more than a decade. This means the attractive payment plans and Web-based practice tools pioneered by Unicorn are now powered by Chase.

Unicorn patient financing products launched as ChaseHealthAdvance in March. Besides the name change, providers will have access to a more comprehensive range of payment plans, excellent approval rates, and very competitive service fees.

DE: What does ChaseHealthAdvance have to offer when it comes to more costly treatments?
Bleemer: We have done a couple of things that we think help make the more costly treatments more affordable for patients. For example, we have a special program with lower service fees for financed amounts of $7,000 or higher. We also increased credit lines up to $20,000.

DE: What kind of advances have you made with online services?
Bleemer: Practices can manage their financing activity easily through HealthAdvance-Online, our secure providers-only Web site which tracks all patient financing activity. Providers can review daily reports of all activity, including credit decisions, processing status, fundings, and a pipeline report of those patients who have not used their available lines of credit.

DE: Describe for us the customer's experience when applying for financing with ChaseHealthAdvance?
Bleemer: Patients interested in financing fill out a short and confidential online application. Most apply right at the doctor's office, but they can also apply online from home. With help from their provider and using tools such as the online payment calculator, the customer can choose the payment plan that works best for their budget. Other authorized household members can also use the line of credit without having to apply separately.

DE: After the financing is approved and the treatment performed, how is the provider paid?
Bleemer: Payment is processed within 24 hours and funds are deposited directly into the provider's bank account via ACH.

DE: What other areas does ChaseHealthAdvance offer financing available besides dental and orthodontia?
Bleemer: We also offer financing for vision correction, cosmetic surgery, hair restoration, and veterinary procedures.

DE: Can the ChaseHealthAdvance account be used for additional elective procedures after the initial procedure?
Bleemer: Yes. Each credit approval carries with it a minimum line of credit, so the unused portion of the credit line can be accessed at any time. Along those lines, Chase HealthAdvance is unique in that every approval receives at least a $5,000 line of credit. It is a simple process for the participating doctor/practice to receive an authorization for additional charges up to the patient's maximum account credit line.

Additionally, a patient can use their account for any dental, orthodontic, cosmetic or vision correction procedure at any participating practice at any time while their account is active.

DE: How easy is it to get started with ChaseHealth Advance?
Bleemer: Very easy. There are no enrollment fees, monthly minimums, or required equipment to purchase when you get started with Chase. Practices sign a provider agreement and select the payment plans they want to offer their patients. Within 24 hours, practices can be trained by a practice consultant and begin submitting applications.

For additional information on the product or to enroll, log on to www.chasehealthadvance.com.

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