08 January 2008

Subprime healthcare

In a venal buy-in to the idea that life and death is no different from a new car, a Waltham, Mass., company is setting up a hospital credit rating, presumably so hospitals will know not to give you decent care as soon as you walk in the door. If you don't deserve it, of course. Those who deserve good care will no doubt get the birth suite jacuzzis, 20-foot waterfalls in the second floor waiting room, and private chefs. We just can't afford to care for everyone, that's all. So sorry.

Breaking news — and apologies for the misinformation. In fact, hospitals won't look at this score until after you've been treated and sent home, all better. Just as they don't check your credit score until after you drive away with the new Lexis or until after you've moved into the new executive mansion.
"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, said 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.
Right. That will certainly be worth the cost for the hospitals, who do seem to layer on administrative costs fast as they can.

No comments: