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Get this: A credit scoring company will now predict your HIV meds adherence #HIV #AIDS

Get this: A credit scoring company will now predict your HIV meds adherence #HIV #AIDS

I don’t know how I feel about this, it’s not sitting well with me: (bolding mine)

FICO, the credit scoring giant, says it is going to start using its mathematical technology to inform the health insurance industry about which people will be most at risk of not adhering to their medication.

“We started thinking about how consumers behave as patients,” saidMark Greene, the chief executive of FICO, based in Minneapolis, toNew York Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope. “The problem, from a math standpoint, is not all that different from banking and other industries.”

Nearly three quarters of all people fail to take their medication exactly as prescribed by their doctors. Though studies have shown that medication adherence is generally higher among people living with HIV, the consequences of missed doses are significant, and between one quarter and one half of HIV-positive people struggle with adherence. People who miss too many doses of their antiretroviral (ARV) medication often develop HIV drug resistance and end up in treatment failure.

Fico said that by end of the 2011, an estimated 2 to 3 million people will have been given a FICO medication adherence score and that a total of 10 million people are expected to be scored by the summer of 2012.

Because the company will use publicly available data, such as home ownership and job status, rather than medical records, the score can be compiled without requiring sensitive and private health information. Right now, the company will be offering its adherence rating services to health insurance companies so that they can offer additional assistance to those who FICO predicts will have the most trouble.

FICO built its adherence score, which will range from 0 and 500, from data provided on 600,000 patients by a large pharmacy benefits management company. People who scored 400 or higher on FICO’s system were judged to be highly likely to adhere to their medication, while those with a score below 200 were expected to have adherence problems.

This is just odd to me that a mathematical calculation is going to be used to predict whether or not you need additional assistance.  Worse, I can see alot of potential for perverting this into a system used to hike up insurance rates.

Two to three million people are being given this score, and this story is getting minimal play. There doesn’t appear to be any opt out and worse, there appear to be no instructions on exactly what information is used to construct this mathematical assessment.

There’s way too many open questions on this for me.  I have a real bad feeling…

 

 

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Get this: A credit scoring company will now predict your HIV meds adherence #HIV #AIDS, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

2 Comments

  1. While I can certainly understand your apprehension, I don’t see how this is any different than the actuarial sciences that have been the basis of practically every type of insurance imaginable since the 17th century. To say this adherence rating is determined from a “mathematical calculation” is an oversimplification of all the subjects, e.g., probability, finance, math, and now computer programs, that are all woven into those incredibly complex actuary tables that insurance companies use for risk assessment & management. If anything, I’m more surprised that someone is using actuarial skills to our benefit and not just telling us the exact date we’re going to die.

    (Sorry, that’s an old joke about actuaries. And now you know why there aren’t more mathematician comics!)

    Regardless, we’d be fools not to keep an eye on how this is put into practice; not only because of the nearly decrepit state of our country’s health insurance system (or lack thereof!), but also because of the ADAP nightmare going on. I mean…you can sit there all damn day with your calculator, protractor, charts & graphs, slide rulers, and abacus to figure out how likely someone will be take their pills. But if they can’t afford to even get the pills…? None of this is going to mean jack-sh*t anyway.

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    • Point taken. Just the same, and I agree with you, that while I doubt this was cooked up from the starting gate as some nefarious plot to screw patients over the open questions on it give me pause. It seems to be a very far reaching plan that’s not being given enough press to show how it benefits patients. There’s just too little out there right now to fully understand it, and that’s why I hit the “wait a darn minute” button.

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