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Daily Talker: Health Care Companies Want To Know What You’re Buying

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Your doctor, hospital, or insurance company want to know more about you — like whether you stop paying for a gym membership, go to a fast food restaurant, or buy a pack of cigarettes.

According to Bloomberg News, some hospitals are starting to use information collected by data brokers to create profiles on their current and potential patients. The goal is to identify who is more likely to get sick, so they can intervene ahead of time.

“What we are looking to find are people before they end up in trouble,” said Carolinas HealthCare System chief clinical officer Michael Dulin in an interview with Bloomberg. “The idea is to use big data and predictive models to think about population health and drill down to the individual levels to find someone running into trouble that we can reach out to and try to help out.”

That could mean a phone call from your doctor if you use a credit card at a plus-size store, or if you buy too many candy bars at the grocery store and use a loyalty card.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, pay to hospitals is moving away from being linked to the number of tests or procedures performed, while quality metrics like re-admission rates are becoming more important.

What do you think about health care providers trying to learn more about you? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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