I have some very welcome news. FICO is changing its scoring method . Medical debt will no longer count against you. As explained in a recent New York Times article:
The creator of one of the most widely used and influential credit scores, FICO, said on Thursday that the latest version of its score would no longer weigh medical debts — which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers’ credit reports — as heavily as it did in previous iterations.
The newer FICO scores, available this fall, will also ignore any collections that have already been paid; previously, the scores factored paid and unpaid collections equally, though it ignored amounts under $100.