There’s been a lot of discussion about a potential health care score a la FICO score. The right way to do this would be some way to reward providers/plans whomever for doing whatever it takes to improve a population’s overall health. Plans/providers which improve a risk adjusted set of health outcomes would do well, and those that didn’t would not.

The wrong way would be to use the score to discriminate against sick people–by refusing them service before they have to chance to run up a bill they can’t pay.

Guess which appears to be being developed by Healthcare Analytics, a company that has as investors Fair  Issac–the company behind the FICO credit rating–and long time problematic for-profit hospital operator Tenet?

Now of course they may not be developing anything of the sort. Maybe it’s just a tool to help hospitals figure out what proportion of their bills are likely to get paid. But in that case why raise $30m in VC?

But you want to know how this will be perceived by the public? Try reading the 2000+ comments on this posting since last Friday! You can guess the reaction without reading the comments.

Healthcare Analytics had better get out there talking about what it’s really doing very quickly, or a whole lot of other people will be filling in the gaps for it. You might have noticed that the country’s mood right now is not very friendly towards corporate greed and bad behavior–and that will get worse as the coming recession deepens.

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3 replies »

  1. I never have had health insurance and firmly don’t believe in it. I simply practice good health. I have spent less than $1,000 combined over my 50 years on all my healthcare. I pay my premiums to myself and now have half a $million in the “bank” – in accounts where the F…ing healthcare system can’t get it! Let’s all do this to force the system to its knees.

  2. So what would admitting do if they had a “potential” patient with a Health FICO of 500 – send them away or ask for cash up front? Maybe they could operate like car dealers, “Everyone rides no matter if your credit is good, bad or ugly!” Of course we know hospitals charge the uninsured 4Xs the going rate, which makes payment even less likely. If the industry wants to get closer to gov. run single-pay then this would be just one more aspect that would get us there.
    Would the ambulance be able to check your Health FICO at the scene to determine if you’d be better taking a taxi? Can anyone else see the stupidity in this “system”?
    As a private lender I assess very carefully the potential for healthcare debt and my ability to get my place in line. Not only would this economy benefit from universal gov. run, single-pay, but small business, big business, and lenders would too. But I think it’s too late for a while since the dishonest real estate/lending industry has tanked asset value and caused a big financial meltdown that will only get worse before better. Don’t you just love it when government gives business free rein – ah, unfettered capitalism.