Cancer patients more likely to file for bankruptcy

Cancer patients are more likely than other patients to file for bankruptcy due to medical bills, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, the University of Utah School of Medicine and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge, among others. It concluded that those individuals who were treated for cancer were 2.65 times more likely to file for bankruptcies than those who had other medical needs.

The study of more than 231,000 individuals in Washington State diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2009 cited a variety of reasons that cancer treatment causes such a severe financial hardship. Among them are the fact non-elderly cancer patients shoulder a collective $1.3 billion a year of their treatment costs out of pocket, and up to 85 percent of them are forced to stop work during their treatment, often for months at a time.

Even after their initial treatment stops, cancer patients often face problems with work. Breast cancer patients, for example, see their earnings drop an average of $3,600 annually for the five years after their diagnosis.

Meanwhile, the cost of treating cancer at U.S. hospitals is expected to rise as much as 50 percent by the end of the decade.

To learn more:
- read the study

Free Webinar

Take Control of Your Escalating Claim Costs through a Comprehensive Pre-payment Hospital Bill Review Solution

Today managing high dollar claim spend is more important than ever for Health Plans, TPAs, Employers, and Reinsurers, and can pose significant financial risks. How can these costs be managed without being a constant financial drain on your company resources? Our combination of the right people and the right technology provides an approach that ensures claims are paid right, the first time. Register Now!

Suggested Articles

JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic will roll out the CommonPass mobile app in December.

With the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine looming, companies in the pharmaceutical supply chain are working overtime to plan for all contingencies.

The pandemic is transforming the way the healthcare industry handles payments. Here are key takeaways on the benefits of automated payments.