'

Worried about your medFICO score?

Those involved insist the scores will only be checked during the billing process, not before treatment, but if you believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

FICO score illustration from myFICO.comI have written before here about how it seems some practitioners take advantage of the "good insurance."

Once a clerk runs up my insurance card (the insurance is the wife's) I get treated like a partner. It's not quite money out the wazoo, but it is first-class all the way.

This is about to be institutionalized through the medFICO scores being created by Health Analytics at the behest of FairIsaac. (Picture from TheTaoofMakingMoney.)

Those involved insist the scores will only be checked during the billing process, not before treatment, but if you believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Tenet is one of the backers of the plan, which will collect payment data from hospital systems with a combined $100 billion in annual income.

Tenet told the Dallas Morning News it had $433 million in bad debts as of the third quarter of this year, one-fourth of it in the form of insurance deductibles patients wouldn't or couldn't pay.

At some point we cross an ethical line here, in the form of the Hippocratic Oath, keeping the patients' good as the highest priority.

We've already seen the poor dumped on public hospitals that are starting to fail. Now this kind of treatment may be heaped on the middle class.

And what if it's heaped-on by mistake? A 2002 Consumer Federation of America study found many credit scores to be inaccurate. But perhaps that is the best argument for a medFICO.

My own feeling is that looking at a medFICO before treatment could be actionable, although subtle differences in treatment would be awfully hard to prove.

Until we have reliable payment mechanisms for emergency care, however, medFICO may be your doctor's only protection.