New Medical Score Sparks Controversy, Questions

RA Guy Community News

Okay, when I first read this article I thought it was just someone’s idea of a bad joke…but it’s real!

Within the next 12 months, whether you like it or not, about 10 million Americans are expected to be scored — much like a credit score — on how likely they are to fill a prescription and take all the pills the doctor ordered, on schedule.

FICO, creator of the widely used credit score that predicts whether you’ll borrow responsibly, is now rolling out its new Medication Adherence Score.

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Can someone please tell me what the benefit of such a system is, from a patient’s point-of-view? The company states that “those who score low can be targeted for extra reminders and educational efforts, with the goal of making patients more likely to complete their prescribed regimens.” My $7 plastic pill reminder box from Walgreens seems to be doing a good enough job, thank you very much.

What won’t happen, FICO says, is your insurance taking a hit because of a low score. “No decision is being made as to whether someone is getting access to health care,” says Shellenberger. That’s because companies can’t use the Medication Adherence Score when deciding whether to provide health insurance and how much to charge for it. “The score was not designed, tested or validated to serve as an underwriting tool. And, underwriting is not an allowable use of the score under the terms of our client contracts,” Shellenberger says.

FICO declined a request for a copy of the contract. FICO says consumers can find out if they have scores by asking their health care providers.

As a commenter wrote, if such a score is not going to be used for insurance purposes, what exactly will it be used for? Is this program opt in? If it’s not, how will a person be able to opt out ? For me, there are just too many questions, and not enough answers, to be comfortable with this idea.

Do we really need more ways for insurers to “justify” their continually increasing denials of coverage?