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Hospitals examine your credit history before they examine you

DCblogger's picture

Experian buys Maple Grove health data provider

Experian is spending $90 million to acquire Maple Grove-based SearchAmerica Inc., which provides data services to health providers.

One of SearchAmerica’s top businesses involves using credit bureau and other financial data to help health care providers gauge whether patients will be able to pay. Experian, an Irish company with U.S. headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., is one of the largest credit reporting companies in the United States.

Do you think medical decisions should be based on your credit history?

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TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

A half-dozen years ago, I got an MRI at the hospital which employed me, and I later found out that three inquiries were done on my credit the day before the procedure by the hospital (which was also my employer).

To make a looooong story short:

* These were (supposedly) "ID inquiries" only - part of a service the big three provide health care providers.

* Well, yes, it is unusual to have three ID checks in 36 hours.

* And yes, it sucks when it looks on your credit history like your employer is running three checks on you in 36 hours.

* The three "inquiries" were NOT supposed to be a part of the "public" part of my history - i.e., data released to commercial requests. Except that they were, going by the codes listed next to each entry. And the only mistake Equifax copped to was that the person who told me on the phone that indeed the codes next to the three checks did indicate that this info went out into the wild wasn't supposed to tell me that.

That was it. As far as they were concerned, THAT was their only problem. That someone told me. They wouldn't say it wasn't true -- only that I wasn't supposed to hear about it.

I still seethe when I see the word "Equifax".

(Oh, and I recently applied for and got my 'three free' credit checks as mandated by law. One company considered this an invitation to me to do a whole lot of labor-intensive 'Identity verification" on a name and info which, IMHO, was clearly and deliberately mangled - I've been alive 45 years and no one has mangled my admittedly weird surname that badly without some effort. IMHO, it was a cheap ploy to do some free work for them by cleaning up their shit. I didn't even bother. Fuck that.)

Submitted by lambert on

Never occurred to me that you're cleaning their data for free. Unbelievable.