Ok it’s time for a little straight talk today on analytics.  I am in the technology field and constantly write about the accuracy and interpretation of how everything gets analyzed today and we learn a lot from behavioral analytics; however, there are imagecompanies that make money doing this.  If procedures and risk analysis reports are not interpreted correctly, it denies care, flat out.  This appears to be what we have here.  I know, nobody else likes to talk about the dark side so I’m left here to do it, somebody has to.  It’s not all peaches and roses out there with analytics and again we are so much at the mercy of so many digital illiterates that put the “wrong” spin on so much of the behavioral analytics that take place today and no doubt, I’ll going to predict this is one more that is going to get out of hand in the search of trying to assign risk management. 

When venturing into touchy topics as behavioral data, it is mis interpreted, quoted in studies and then it hits the news looking like some “whack job” created their assumptions.  We see it almost every day in the news as people have a huge tendency to jump on all of this as if it was the gospel and it’s not. 

The information created here is to predict who will and who will not take their medications.  The information is gathered from pharmacies (take heed here as these folks had to pay for some of this, so this could be part of the $749 million that companies like Walgreens make on selling your data).  So are we seeing just a little hind of who is out there buying your information, maybe.  FICO does credit scores and they are in the money business, so don’t get fooled here, it’s all about money in the long run, straight talk.  This article says it is all based on publicly available information so is my prescription data publicly available?  Here’s how United works with some predictive algorithms and gives the pharmacists at Walgreens some extra cash in some areas. Their OptumInsight business (formerly known as Ingenix) makes huge profits on selling data and for the 1st quarter of this year, their CEO said the Ingenix division was their shining star of profit.  You can search around here and find all kinds of information for how they function with a simple search as I have been talking about it for around 4 years now.

UnitedHealthCare To Use Data Mining Algorithms On Claim Data To Look For Those At “Risk” of Developing Diabetes – Walgreens and the YMCA Benefit With Pay for Performance Dollars to Promote and Supply The Tools

The scale goes fro zero to 500 and with their algorithms they have developed, it states a score of 400 or above are likely to take their medications.  Those who are below 200 are at high risk of not being compliant so if you rank a low score, watch out as all this gets aggregated and alerts are sent out, mark my words as this develops.  If you have only been in a job a short amount of time..ding..even though so many change jobs frequently today due to mergers and acquisitions, but that will be dinged against you, so one item here that looks a little fishy.  Congress can’t even recognize a tool they need to do their job better when it hits them in the face and still sit around and talk about abortions all the time, while stuff like this breeds in the background, while they are totally clueless as non or minimal participants in technology today. 

IBM Watson Capabilities Being Pitched to Financial Industry-Congress Must Not Have Felt They Needed This So Further Behind We Fall With Effective Intelligent Lawmaking

Will this be marketed to health insurance companies, you bet, and maybe they get to make some money selling it them as they have taken the pain staking efforts of doing all the analysis work, so they will sell this on the “value” that they have created and whether or not it has real value remains to be seen.  When you go to an insurance under writer, they will have your score, you can bet on that as insurers already pay pharmacies for your prescription data so this is jus one more area to where they will spend money for risk assessments. 

I don’t think we really need this score but fine if they want to do a group analysis and come up with general figures for the entire country, fine,  but not for individuals as a good line of communication between doctors and patients will over ride this medication adherence score algorithm in a heartbeat.  I also believe in ethics with technology and this totally erodes any mere shining of ethics with the scoring.

The digital illiterates won’t have a clue in hell on how to use the information other than to deny drugs and services, because they mishandle such information and use it for cutting budgets and making profits only.  A few months ago we had the rally to restore sanity but when one is fed a constant menu of crappy algorithms like this and are kept in the dark, well after a while things start to look like a new normal when they are not. 

Rally To Restore Sanity–A Big Success With Some Real Straight Talk About The Disruption and Distraction We Live With Today

It’s going to make money for them though so don’t lose track of the fact that these are more algorithms for sale here, straight talk.  What happens one day when your score is 200 or less and the health agency sees this and says “well don’t give them any drugs as our score shows they won’t take them and it’s a waste of time”.  Don’t think that will happen, guess again because digital illiterates interpret studies in such manners and that’s why risk analysis programs like this have a real danger.  The numbers and the algorithms to create the scores are take way out of context and you just may get denied a prescription due to your risk score. 

This stuff builds on itself with some behavioral analytics and there needs to be an area of common sense and ethics set in and when everyone looks at every penny today and a way to save money, the digital illiterates forget there are real live humans attached to these numbers, they do it all the time.  This was admitted by Wendell Potter not too long ago as to how it happened to him by being so encased in the world of health insurance and making those numbers that it happened even before he realized what was taking place.  Now he sees it of course and is here to tell us some valuable lessons he learned and gives us some huge insight into how the number farms and a bit of brainwashing works at those levels. 

Wendell Potter Tell All Book–Deadly Spin–One to Put On My List as “He Knows Algorithms and How they Create Profits”

In my opinion, this is a total waste as digital illiterates will use it to deny service and drugs in the name of saving money. Again I like software and how it makes me smarter but don’t like it when consumer fleecing begins.  There’s a good book out there and I’ll recommend it once again, “Proofiness, the Dark Side of Mathematical Deception” and I feel very strongly that what the books says here fits like a dime as this is nothing more than about money based on your socials status and this is in fact one of the “dark sides”.   I have written enough algorithms and queries in my lifetime to see right through this scheme and I think they would be better off sticking to their core business.   

“Proofiness–The Dark Side of Mathematical Deception”–Created by Those Algorithms–New Book Coming Out Soon

One more thought, has Wall Street not taught us about credit ratings and how those numbers get skewed with all their Algo Men…think about that one and get into the math so we can all be on similar or same levels, otherwise the fleecing of you and I just continues with more algorithms for desired and not accurate results.  BD 

Most people are well aware that companies compile credit scores on just about everyone. Now, one company is planning to rate how likely people are to take prescribed medication.

Nearly three in four Americans do not follow doctor’s orders for taking prescription drugs, a problem that is associated with 125,000 patient deaths each year, according to the National Consumers League. One in three patients never even fills the prescription. Others forget to pick up their drugs from the pharmacy, skip doses, take their pills at the wrong time or take too much or too little. And even for those who follow recommendations at the start, some eventually stop taking the medication altogether.

FICO Scores Predict Drug Adherence - NYTimes.com


  1. And I know that a lot of those drugs cause more harm than good.

    Some of them even kill people. And Big Pharma knows it. I wonder what they would do when people they required to take those drugs, aren't taking their drugs!


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