19 Apr Is Fair Issac Back Pedaling on the Medical FICO Score?
In a recent article entitled “medFICO: A Killer Credit Score” Wendell Sherkdiscusses the risks inherent in a healthcare system that could base its decisionson when to treat and who to treat on a proposed FICO medical score.
CreditCards.comreports that since the initial announcement by Fair Isaac Company of its plans to develop a system for assigning a rating to potential patients based upon their likelihood of paying medical bills, the plan has met with criticism from consumer advocates that are concerned that the scores may be used to either deny treatment or pressure the less credit worthy patient to use credit cards to pay for medical treatment. Others have questioned the legality of such a scoring system.
In an interview with Connie Praterof CreditCards.com, Fair Isaac spokesman Craig Watts said: “There is no score yet. We’re talking with a startup company about developing some kind of score. It’s still in the discussion phase as far as I know.”
Currently, healthcare providers will report medical bills to credit reporting agencies such as TransUnion, Equifax and Experian only when the medical bill is past due. Under a medFICO system, healthcare providers would report the amount of outstanding debt owed and whether it is current to the credit reporting agencies, much like creditors currently do with mortgages and credit card debt.
Consumer advocates have expressed concerns that such a system would lead to those with low medFICO scores receiving substandard health care.
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