Under financial strain, more Americans crowd-fund medical bills

Feb 6, 2015 | Healthcare Industry News

An unusual trend among people burdened by the cost of medical care is crowd-funding bills for treatments and procedures. With platforms like GoFundMe, anyone can open a fundraising page to help cover the cost of medical expenses. While these promotions can provide short-term relief to individuals and families who are drowning in high levels of debt, it's likely a symptom of the debt cycle many Americans find themselves stuck in. 

For years, these types of money drives have been community-focused, at churches or neighborhood centers. Today, the internet allows cash-strapped patients to share their story with people all over the world, who kick in generously to help out. Even the smallest donations can add up to pay for expensive procedures. 

In Maine, the Parsons family was unprepared for their oldest son, Sam, to contract severe inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. After 92 days in a hospital, multiple surgeries caused the medical bills at home to mount. Unprepared to cover the expenses, his family launched a GoFundMe page. 

"Financially you know, it's just a difficult year. You do what you can. You pay your bills when you can. You put things on payment plans. You use credit cards. You just do what you can to get by," Sam's mother Rachel told WCSH 6, Portland's NBC affiliate.

In the first 8 days of the family's GoFundMe drive, they raised $8,000 of the $20,000 goal. Stories like theirs are not uncommon, and illustrate the financial pressure on everyday Americans as well as the generosity of strangers. 

When your organization decides to outsource receivables management, healthcare administrators can better prioritize their caseloads to pursue the most important outstanding debts. Contact us today to learn more about our services.