Medical Privacy Issue: FICO Medication Adherence Score Coming

June 24, 2011

Think you have little privacy now, wait until FICO, the company whose credit scores are frequently used to guage your credit worth, launches a new program that will allow companies to determine how likely you are to take your medicine properly.

In a recent New York Times article, FICO has “developed a new FICO Medication Adherence Score that it says can predict which patients are at highest risk for skipping or incorrectly using prescription medications.”

“We started thinking about how do consumers behave as patients,”  Mark Greene, the chief executive of FICO, based in Minneapolis, told the Times. “The problem, from a math standpoint, is not all that different from banking and other industries.”

FICO officials say insurance companies and other health care groups will use the score to identify those patients who could benefit the most from follow-up phone calls, letters and e-mails to encourage proper use of medication. By the end of the year, an estimated two million to three million patients will have been given a FICO medication adherence score and a total of 10 million patients are expected to be scored during the next 12 months, the company said. Those estimates are based on current negotiations with health care companies who plan to use the scoring system,” writes Tara Parker-Pope.

Proper adherence to medical instruction is slim, according to the National Consumers League which states that 125,000 patients die yearly because they fail to fill prescriptions, fail to take them as directed, or skip doses.

What are the odds that your score will be used properly by all concerned? Slim or none? You tell us.



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One Response to Medical Privacy Issue: FICO Medication Adherence Score Coming

  1. Doc on June 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

    From where will they get this information — from the doctor, who violates the doctor/patient relationship? from pharmaceutical companies, who determine how often one refills their prescription–even though the patient may use more than one pharmacy? what if the prescribed meds don’t work, and the doctor has to place one on replacement meds–will this show up in the data in a timely manner? which “companies” (as you say) are participating in this FICO FIASCO–are they current or prospective employers?

    Not only will it affect the ability of a person receiving or obtaining insurance, it will also affect how the new Obamacare’s IPAB board reviews one’s health plan in determining if one is “eligible” for surgery over another patient…starting in 2014, unless it gets repealed (one can only wish).

    I am so tired of Big Brother intruding into my life. More calls? marketing? emails?Stay away!!

    …is there a means by which a consumer can “opt out” of any such revelations? Can a consumer instruct the doctor and pharmacy to NOT reveal such information??


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