Friday :: Dec 28, 2007


by Turkana

It just gets better and better. The bloodsucking monsters who literally prey on the ill and the dying want to complete the process of turning you into a statistic. The Dallas Morning News reports:

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 new medFICO score, being designed with the help of credit industry giant Fair Isaac Corp., could debut as early as this summer in some hospitals.

Healthcare Analytics, a Waltham, Mass., health technology firm, is developing the score. It is backed by funding from Fair Isaac, of Minneapolis; Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.; and venture capital firm North Bridge Venture Partners, also based in Waltham. Each kicked in $10 million for the project.

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.

Could? That implies the possibility that they won't. Of course they will. Because the health insurance industry only cares about making money. Because the health insurance industry believes that medical care is not supposed to about the medical or the care, but about squeezing the suffering for every last desperate dollar. If you can't pay, you die. Hyperbole?

Via Echidne, check this recent article, from Medical News Today:

A new report by a major US cancer charity has found that uninsured Americans are less likely to survive cancer, less likely to be screened for it, and more likely to have an advanced stage of the disease once they are diagnosed, compared with Americans on health insurance.

The study, which examines the link between health insurance status and cancer treatment and survival, will appear in the January-February edition of the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and is the work of researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS), led by Dr Elizabeth Ward, managing director, surveillance research at the ACS.

Other studies have already suggested that Medicaid and uninsured patients are more likely to be diagnosed with cancers that are more advanced, mostly because they can't afford to buy preventative services such as cancer screening.

This report from the ACS takes a closer look at the link between insurance status and cancer care, and takes into account a number of demographic, race, and socioeconomic factors.

As a cancer survivor who was blessed to have adequate insurance, but who met people in the hospital and clinic who were not, let me say this: when someone has cancer, the only thing that should matter is trying to beat it. The mental and emotional toll is overwhelming, and that's even before the effects of any surgery, chemo, or radiation kick in.

That cancer patients have to waste time and energy worrying about how they are going to pay for life-saving procedures is a moral abomination. That our deranged insurance system causes people to suffer more from cancer than they really need to is just plain inhumane. And it just keeps getting worse. Now, more people will not seek medical care, and more people will, undoubtedly, be denied medical care, simply because they cannot afford it. In the wealthiest nation in the known history of the world. To the insurance industry it's a question of value, but it's a really a question of values- or lack thereof.

Turkana :: 6:04 AM :: Comments (19) :: Digg It!