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Not too long ago I went off on American General for using the CRL laboratories smart score system as justification for declining a client. Since then I have been on somewhat of a quest searching for just what the smart score is and more precisely how it is supposed to be used as envisioned by CRL labs. After several attempts to learn more through American General where it appears no one really knows anything about the system they’ve adopted, today I called Cheryl at CRL labs and asked her to explain how the Smart Score is supposed to be used in conjunction with other underwriting information. She said I would have to call American General.

I pushed on and reviewed the case in question and asked her if it made sense to her that American General would use the Smart score to decline someone based on the information they already knew, essentially using the same information against the client twice. Again she said she wasn’t allowed to explain the smart score methodology to me and that I would have to go to American General. So I have more calls in to American General to see if there is anyone intelligent enough to explain the smart score system they are embracing, or at least embraced long enough to decline my client. As I explained in my previous post this client and his medical information was quick quoted to me as a potential approval and when the actual data came back better than what they had seen for the quick quote, should have been a shoe in approval.

Our office uses Exam One and has for the past 8 years to complete our client’s insurance exams. so when I got a call from Quest Diagnostics today I assumed it had to do with one of our clients and their exam status since Exam One is a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics. As it turns out it didn’t really have to do with any clients, but rather a response to my post on the absurdity of the Smart Score system. It was their Head of Laboratory and Risk Analytics at ExamOne. I figured when he brought up the post that I was in for yet another butt chewing because he was probably the brains behind the Smart Score, but it turns out that he is the creator of a lab result analysis tool called Risk IQ and he understood my frustration with CRL’s analysis system.

When I found that out I figured I had stumbled upon someone who could explain why my client had been declined and maybe how to get it fixed but no such luck. He said that the Smart Score system was created in response to Exam One’s Risk IQ system and so far they had not been able to figure out the logic behind it and couldn’t speak to whether, if there was sound logic, it was being used correctly by companies like American General. It has occurred to me, especially after Mr Dixon volunteered himself and his medical director to meet with my partner Rich Fuller and me and explain Risk IQ and answer all of our questions about how it can be used to help clients get approved, well, it occurred to me that may no one from CRL ever really went to American General and explained how to use the Smart Score. That made infinitely more sense than anything I’ve been able to get through conversations with the underwriter or anyone at AIG.

Bottom line. Any technological system for evaluating mortality risk or even just one side of mortality risk is only as good as the people that created it and the people who use it. I have some serious reservations about both sides of that equation with CRL/AIG. This post will be resumed as more information becomes available on either front. If you have any questions or have hit a brick wall with the Smart Score, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.