In dentists’ and doctors’ offices, hearing aid centers and pain clinics, US health care is forging a lucrative alliance with US finance. A growing number of health care professionals are urging patients to pay for treatment not covered by their insurance plans with credit cards and lines of credit that can be arranged quickly in the provider’s office.
The cards and loans, which were first marketed about a decade ago for cosmetic surgery and other elective procedures, are now proliferating among older Americans, who often face large out-of-pocket expenses for basic care that is not covered by Medicare or private insurance.
The American Medical Association and the American Dental Association have no policy on the cards, but some practitioners say they threaten the traditional relationship between provider and patient. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.