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Some hospitals track your credit card bill to predict your health

Some hospitals track your credit card bill to predict your health
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Data brokers like Acxiom and LexisNexis aren't just trying to sell your information to advertisers anymore. Their newest client is the healthcare system.

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Carolinas HealthCare, a chain of over 900 North and South Carolina healthcare facilities, recently launched a pilot program that seeks out information like credit card statements, customer loyalty rewards programs, and public records to identify "problem" patients.

Once it collects the data, a computer program identifies potential health risks based on a customer's spending habits. The concept, basically, is to give doctors a better picture into the private decisions behind their patients' health.

“What we are looking to find are people before they end up in trouble,” says Carolinas HealthCare's chief clinical officer Michael Dulin.

Personally, I don't think a doctor needs my credit card statement to tell me what I should and shouldn't be eating. Many customers of Carolinas Healthcare agree.

“It is one thing to have a number I can call if I have a problem or question; it is another thing to get unsolicited phone calls. I don’t like that,” says Jorjanne Murry, an accountant in Charlotte who has Type 1 diabetes and says she usually ignores calls from her health insurer trying to discuss her daily habits. “I think it is intrusive.”

Data brokers have more information about your lifestyle than anyone else. It's a bit disconcerting to see the medical field buying your credit card data on the open market to determine whether or not you're "at risk."

What do you think about this new development in medical care? Let me know in the comments.

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