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 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.
Your life usually isn’t at stake when a credit report turns up something negative, but in this case it very well might be. To some extent these types of decisions have already been being made by some hospitals, like when they just dump indigent patients on skid row, but this can only make it easier for other hospitals to make similar decisions for even more people. While a person’s overall credit score is largely based on voluntary purchases which one typically has some control over (assuming there isn’t an error), health care debt is largely involuntary. Even someone lucky enough to have health insurance can suddenly find themselves overwhelmed with debt they cannot afford through no fault of their own. A study two years ago found that “34% of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 face problems with medical bills or have medical debt, although 62% of those individuals have health insurance.”
So, what do you think will happen once the hospital finds out your “medical credit score” doesn’t measure up?