Credit Scores Becoming a Barrier to Medical Treatment: Doctors Refusing Care to Patients with Poor Credit

01 May 2023
bank blur business buy

The relationship between healthcare and finances is a complicated one. While everyone deserves access to quality medical care regardless of their financial situation, doctors and hospitals are also businesses that need to manage their finances effectively. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of doctors and medical facilities refusing to treat patients with poor credit scores.

This trend is not unique to the medical field; many businesses, from lenders to landlords, use credit scores as a way of evaluating the risk of doing business with an individual. However, when it comes to healthcare, the stakes are much higher. People’s lives are on the line, and denying them care because of their financial situation can have serious consequences.

The reasons behind doctors’ reluctance to treat patients with poor credit scores are complex. One factor is the rising cost of private healthcare. As healthcare costs continue to soar, many medical practices are struggling to keep up. They may feel that they cannot afford to provide care to patients who are unlikely to pay their bills.

Another factor is the increasing burden of paperwork and administrative tasks on medical professionals. Doctors are required to spend more and more time dealing with insurance companies, billing, and other administrative tasks. This leaves less time for patient care, which can lead to frustration and burnout.

Poor credit scores related to malpractice…

There is also the issue of malpractice insurance. Doctors are required to carry malpractice insurance to protect themselves in case of a lawsuit. However, insurance companies may be reluctant to provide coverage to doctors who treat patients with poor credit scores, as they may be seen as a higher risk.

couple discussing problems during session with psychologist

Whatever the reasons behind this trend, it is clear that denying medical care to patients based on their credit score is unethical and potentially harmful. Medical professionals have a responsibility to provide care to those in need, regardless of their financial situation.

Fortunately, there are some steps that patients can take to improve their chances of receiving medical care. One option is to seek out community health clinics or other low-cost medical facilities. These facilities may be more willing to work with patients who have poor credit scores.

Patients can also take steps to improve their credit score. This may include paying off outstanding debts, disputing errors on their credit report, and avoiding new credit applications.

It is also worth noting that there are laws in place to protect patients from discrimination based on their financial situation. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals to provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay.

In conclusion, while the trend of doctors refusing to treat patients with poor credit scores is concerning, there are steps that patients can take to improve their chances of receiving medical care. It is important for medical professionals to remember their ethical obligation to provide care to those in need, regardless of their financial situation. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has access to the medical care they need and deserve.


Leave a reply

Sign up to our Newsletter