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HomeminewsBNPL Boosts Options for Ophthalmology

BNPL Boosts Options for Ophthalmology

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) arrangements are providing a viable financial solution that enables patients to opt for elective ophthalmic surgeries rather than waiting for treatments in the increasingly overburdened public system.

Vision Eye Institute (VEI), which comprises 20 eye clinics and 10 day surgeries across Australia, introduced BNPL as an alternative payment option in 2021. According to Chief Financial Officer, Peter Sexton, patients are “delighted” with the option that allows them to pay for surgeries over six to 12 months.

“BNPL arrangements have seen exponential growth in the retail sector over recent years and have more recently become available to health care consumers,” Mr Sexton explained to mivision.

“Consumers in general are coming to expect these types of arrangements as an alternative, and potentially a more convenient payment option. As such, VEI investigated a number of providers and chose to partner with Latitude to offer our patients an additional payment option in our consulting, day surgery and refractive practices.”

For VEI, going with just one provider was a strategic decision.

“Being Australia’s largest private ophthalmology provider, VEI wished to partner with a strong and reputable financial services provider. Latitude is a respected business listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and its product offering best suited our needs. Having a single offering gives us the ability to gauge our patients’ appetite for BNPL, avoids patient confusion over different product offerings, and simplifies the administration process for everyone,” Mr Sexton said.

The product VEI has taken on is called Latitude Pay / Latitude Pay+. While Latitude Pay has been available for some time for payments up to AU$1,000, Latitude Pay+ was more recently introduced, offering payments between $1,000 and $10,000.

“While initially we expect strong demand for this new offering in refractive laser surgery, where procedures are typically not funded by health insurers, we also expect take up across many other treatments offered by VEI,” Mr Sexton said.

Given the increasing treatment waiting times as a result of the pandemic, VEI anticipates an increased demand in self-pay surgery in its Vision Hospital Group Day Surgeries.

“BNPL enables patients timely and much needed treatment they may otherwise have deferred or experienced substantial waiting times to access. Cataract surgery is a good example of this. Our patients who don’t have private health insurance can choose to avoid lengthy waiting times in the public system and, through BNPL, have their surgery within days rather than years.”

He said giving VEI’s patients payment options to suit their individual circumstances is expected to lead to improved health outcomes and an improved ability for patients to get on with their day-to-day lives with better vision and independence.

Positioning itself as a “a responsible and ethical lender” and having been a leader in interest free instalment products for 30 years, Latitude has over 2.8 million customers in Australia and New Zealand.


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