Saturday, December 8, 2007

General Health Topic - Medical Debt Assistance

Hello Everyone,

On my last post, I wrote about getting help in paying for prescription medications. I was reading some information and found a reference to an organization that helps patients lower their hospital bills.

The following is an excerpt from that article from:

The article was about Logan Roberts. "The 26-year-old had started work as a business analyst near Atlanta but had no insurance when he was rushed to an emergency room for an appendectomy. The uninsured can pay three times more for procedures, says Nora Johnson, the senior director of Medical Billing Advocates of America.Roberts was billed $21,000. After advice from advocacy group The Access Project, Roberts spoke with hospital administrators, telling them he couldn't pay in full. Hospitals frequently work with patients, offering payment plans or discounts. But to get it, you have to knock on the right door: Look for the office of patient accounts or the financial-assistance office. It paid off for Roberts, whose bill was sliced to $4,100, 20% of the original.

That organization, The Access Project, is out there to help patients and family members cope with medical debt, hospital billing and collection problems and helping the uninsured and patients on Medicaid. In addition, this very ambitious group is working on the national, state and local levels to affect change in health care.

The mission of the Access Project is to strengthen community action, promote social change, and improve health, especially for those who are most vulnerable. By supporting local initiatives and community leaders, The Access Project is dedicated to strengthening the voice of under served communities in the public and private sectors.

The Access Projects works with community organizations across the country to examine the consequences of medically-related debt for individuals and families. Their findings indicate that debt resulting from medical bills deters people from seeking future care, which can result in the need for more expensive treatment later on. In addition, medical debt can affect the overall financial security of families and can ruin their economic stability.

On their website,, they state that if you or a family member have medical debt, they would like to hear from you. They provide this information that for help with bill management and negotiation strategies, to contact Andrew Cohen at: (617) 654-9911 x231,toll-free (866) 918-5232 x231, or

If you would like to help support this worthy project, They are currently taking donations. Your donations will help them to:

Continue to study the adequacy and cost of health insurance, and present the findings to interested stakeholders.

Provide direct technical assistance to groups in states where health reform discussions are taking place.

Increase their capacity to assist families struggling with medical debt.

Sponsor trainings for community leaders in locations across the country.

Develop new strategies to address the issue of increasing out-of-pocket medical expenses .

If you are interested in making a donation, please visit their website and click on "Donate Now"

I am going to close now so I can go make a donation.

Thanks for your support,

Dr. Paul

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