A new study found that one in five Americans have donated to a medical crowdfunding campaign or live with someone who has.
Modern Healthcare: People Turn More To Crowdfunding To Pay Medical Expenses
One in five people say that they or someone they live with have donated to a crowdfunding campaign to pay for medical treatments or bills, according to a new survey from the non-partisan research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. It’s the latest evidence that people are struggling to afford their healthcare expenses. NORC found that approximately 8 million people had started a fundraising campaign for themselves or someone they lived with, while more than 12 million people created a campaign for someone else. (Brady, 2/19)
The Hill: Survey: 20 Million Americans Have Crowdfunded To Help Pay Medical Bills
The proliferation of these online fundraisers to pay for medical bills is a symptom of the increasing costs of health care, even for those who have insurance. “As annual out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, more Americans are struggling to pay their medical bills, and millions are turning to their social networks and crowdfunding sites to fund medical treatments and pay medical bills,” said Mollie Hertel, a senior research scientist at NORC, in a press release. (Hellmann, 2/19)
In other news on health care costs —
Colorado Sun: Colorado Hospitals Hate The Plan To Cap Their Prices. Here’s How They Want To Control Health Costs Instead.
As Democrats at the state Capitol near the introduction of the long-awaited and hugely controversial bill to create a public health insurance option, Colorado hospitals on Tuesday unveiled their counter offer. Their proposal is a “total-cost-of-care” model — essentially a big health spending budget for the state. An independent commission would be charged with setting a target to limit how much health care spending in the state can grow each year. “It is all providers, all payers, for all Coloradans,” said Chris Tholen, the CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association. “It really is a focus on a common shared goal.” (Ingold, 2/19)
NPR: Big Firm That Staffs ERs At Public Hospitals Has Been Suing Poor Patients
Nashville General Hospital is a safety-net facility funded by the city. For a patient without insurance, this is supposed to be the best place to go in a city with many hospitals. But for those who are uninsured, it may have been the worst choice in 2019. Its emergency room was taking more patients to court for unpaid medical bills than any other hospital or practice in town. A WPLN investigation finds the physician-staffing firm that runs the ER sued 700 patients in Davidson County during 2019. They include patients like Sonya Johnson, a 52-year-old social worker and single mother. (Farmer, 2/19)
Houston Chronicle: Texans’ Health Care Costs Jump, Exceed National Average, Study Finds
Health care costs for Texans covered by employer-sponsored insurance rose faster than the national average and jumped 14 percent over five years, driven by increasing prices for prescription drugs and medical services, according to a new study. Nearly 13 million Texans, almost half the state’s population, are covered by employer plans. (Wu, 2/19)
Georgia Health News: Family Gets Relief On Surprise Bill; Legislation Advances To Help Others
An agreement between a health insurer and a Rome hospital has shaved more than $10,000 off a surprise medical bill for a young asthma patient. Liam Stina’s hospital bill of more than $11,000 was featured in a Georgia Health News article last week. But the state department of insurance said Wednesday that a verbal agreement was reached between Floyd Medical Center and Anthem, which insured the Stina family. The hospital agreed to accept Anthem’s payment for the care of Liam, and Floyd Medical wrote off much of the remaining bill, bringing the final total to $995.53. (Miller, 2/19)
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