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Thread: Healthcare Credit Scores

  1. ahimsa
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    #1

    Healthcare Credit Scores

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    Credit score for medical bills coming soon
    Health care, credit industries join forces in planning medFICO
    By Jason Roberson
    McClatchy News Service
    Article Last Updated: 01/18/2008 11:55:53 PM MST

    DALLAS - Mortgage lenders aren't the only ones showing more interest in your credit score these days - the health industry is creating its own score to judge your ability to pay.
    The new medFICO score, being designed with the help of credit industry giant Fair Isaac Corp., could debut as early as this summer in some hospitals.
    Healthcare Analytics, a Waltham, Mass., health technology firm, is developing the score. It is backed by funding from Fair Isaac, of Minneapolis; Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.; and venture capital firm North Bridge Venture Partners, also based in Waltham. Each kicked in $10 million for the project.
    The score is already raising questions from consumer advocacy groups that fear it will be checked before patients are treated. People with low medical credit scores could receive lower-quality care than those with a healthy medFICO, they argue.
    ''How much assurance do I have that they're not going to look at this medFICO first, before they decide whether to treat or not?'' asked Linda Foley, founder of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.
    That will not happen, says Stephen Farber, chairman and chief executive of Healthcare Analytics. Hospitals will check the score, which will be based on the patient's medical bill payment history, only after the patient is discharged, he said.
    ''We only come into play once the patient has been treated and discharged, and the bill already exists,'' said Farber, who has visited hospital executives nationwide over the last six months to sell the concept. ''We just help figure out what sort of relief a hospital should grant the patient.''
    Hospitals and other caregivers already can tap into regular credit scores - even without the patient's permission - but those are not necessarily a good indication of whether a patient will pay a medical bill, Farber says. Such credit scores are based on voluntary purchases, such as a car. Health care debt is largely involuntary.
    Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, hospitals and doctors are allowed to report health care debts to credit reporting agencies, but they cannot indicate what they were for.
    ''They have to do it in a way that there will be no way a person looking at the information would be able to guess what they were treated for,'' said Frank Dorman, spokesman for the U.S. Fair Trade Commission.
    Tenet, the nation's third-largest hospital system, with 63 hospitals and medical centers, had $433 million in bad debt through this year's third quarter.

    How will this information be used?

    * WHAT IT IS: Healthcare Analytics is working to create medFICO scores by collecting patient billing data from hospital systems with a combined $100 billion in annual net revenue. The scores would reflect a history of on-time payments. The company claims that the only purpose for the medical credit score is to determine after a visit or surgery if the patient can pay the bill.
    * CONCERNS: Consumer advocacy groups fear medFICO scores will be checked before patients are treated and that people with low scores could receive lower-quality care than those with a healthy medFICO. They also worry medFICO scores could be subject to identity theft and inaccurate scoring data, as with regular credit scores.
    Source: McClatchy Newspapers
    So do you guys trust the hospitals to NOT check the credit score in advance?
    It's Halloween so.... you know, BOO!
  2. Loving Life!
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    #2
    Not a good idea....

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  3. Senior Member
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by parkwoodmom View Post
    Not a good idea....
    I agree. It does not sound like a good idea at all
    An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
  4. >.< *face palm* >.<
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    >.< *face palm* >.<
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    #4
    Thats horrible. Well, I guess if anything happens to me they'll just let me suffer.
  5. Loving Life!
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    #5
    I'm of the belief that everyone deserves good healthcare - regardless of if they can pay or not. You can't put a price on a life.

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    #6
    This is so wrong.
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    #7
    WTH? First they have the end say on what procedures a patient can or can not have and now this. Healthcare is going to hell in a handbasket, and quick.
  8. Keep Calm and Ride Unicorns
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    #8
    Fucked up. Sorry for the strong language, but I can't think of a better way to describe it. Just more proof that insurance companies only judge the value of someone's life on their ability to pay and how much of a profit they suck away from the bottom line.
  9. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #9
    This is bad, really bad. I can't believe they're doing this.
    Aubrey



    RIP Jeremy 3/17/78 - 1/16/09
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    #10
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