Monday, November 24, 2008

Got Sick? How's Your Credit?

Articles like these give me the creeps. There's apparently a new movement in the US where hospitals -- especially those who ordinarily provide subsidized medical care to those without insurance (or with insufficient coverage) -- are now running credit checks on patients without their knowledge or consent. They call what they use "financial analysis software".

An example of how this plays out would be, as discussed in the article, where a part-time hair salon employee earning $6500 a year was refused subsidized treatment (for which she would have qualified based on her income) because the hospital in question ran a credit check and discovered she had a $1800 line of credit with her Visa (never mind that she had a $1200 balance on it at the time). When she applied to have her $371 bill waived, the hospital refused and tacked on $400 in attorney fees. The case was later dropped without explanation, but not until she'd gotten help from a legal aid lawyer.

1 comment:

mv said...

Ahhhh, yes... The private health care system in all its glory...