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Capitol Health Call
February 12, 2014

Senators Question Interest Charges With Medical Credit Cards and Loans

JAMA. 2014;311(6):564. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.15

Three senators are calling for a review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into medical credit cards and loans offered by financing companies and health care professionals. The cards and loans are used to pay for expensive medical procedures not covered by health insurance.

In a December 19 letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Sen Edward J. Markey (D, Massachusetts), Sen Bernie Sanders (I, Vermont), and Sen Bill Nelson (D, Florida) stated their concerns that in offering patients medical credit cards and loans, clinicians gain financial benefits, such as being paid in full at the time of a procedure, while putting patients at financial risk from onerous interest charges if payments are not received on time (http://1.usa.gov/19N1S55).

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