Crowdfunding Medical Bills

Posted on February 3, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I recently had a friend send over a Give Forward campaign for the Faul Family Recovery Fund. I don’t know the family, but they have three autistic children and one fo the daughters has a severe congenital heart defect. To top if off, the Father is autistic and suffers from depression and lost his job thanks to these health challenges. Such an amazing situation.

It’s no wonder that this family is having financial challenges and needs people to support their GiveForward campaign. We’ve all heard that medical bills is the #1 source of bankruptcy in the US. It’s expensive to get the treatment you need when you have a chronic illness.

With that said, I’m really intrigued by these crowd funding platforms that help people like the Faul Family raise money from family, friends and other caring people in order to help cover their medical expenses. The campaign I mentioned has currently raised $4,225 and they’re trying to raise $25,000. That’s not a small sum of money, but is much more manageable when a crowd of caring people are all contributing their Starbucks money to someone in need. The site has raised nearly $150 million this way. That’s amazing!

While Give Forward can be used for a lot of things, the medical category seems to dominate. A look through the medical category puts a face, a name and a story to healthcare in a way that those outside of healthcare rarely see. Walking through the list is both expiring and heart wrenching. Something that those on the front lines of healthcare see every day.

As someone who writes about healthcare, IT, and social media I’m really intrigued by the crowdfunding of medical bills. No doubt it’s a lifesaver for so many involved and likely gets a lot of doctors and hospitals paid that would otherwise get paid. I think those are great things. Plus, I think there’s value to all of us to give of ourselves to others.

I guess I just wonder if this will become a predominant model or how this model will evolve over time. Every hospital in the nation has stories like this walking through their doors every day. Should healthcare organizations be partnering with these crowdfunding platforms? Where do you think all of this is going?