Nonprofit Newswire | NY AG Cuomo Widens Health-Care Lending Investigation

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August 9, 2010; Source: Fox Business | Now have to deal with predatory health-care lending? New York AG Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation of dental and health clinics that promote health credit cards such as Chase Health Advance, Citi Health, and GE Money’s CareCredit.

According to the AG, the health care providers under investigation have been using high-pressure sales pitches to convince consumers to apply for the health-care credit cards, with some indication that there might be kickbacks for the providers and deceptive advertising (such as promises of zero percent interest on cards whose rates ran as high as 25 percent). In addition, the providers allegedly took advantage of their patients’ health credit cards to charge up front for services that the patients never received.

The nonprofit angle? It’s the nonprofit trade association involvement. The AG is looking into nationwide and state-level medical associations such as the American Dental Association to explain why they endorsed the CareCredit card and if credit card issuer kickbacks were involved. Go to it, AG Cuomo!—Rick Cohen