Report Confirms that Medical Debt Adds to Mesothelioma Patients’ Woes

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Published on September 28, 2022

When you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the cost of medical care should be the least of your worries. Unfortunately, the specialists and state-of-the-art technology required to treat this rare, asbestos-related disease come with astronomical price tags, and the bills pile up quickly. A report published in this month’s JAMA Network Open concludes that high medical debts are making the sick in the United States even sicker.

Many Mesothelioma Patients Cannot Pay Their Medical Bills

Malignant mesothelioma is one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of cancer. Cutting edge treatment at specialty hospitals can extend patients’ survival, but this care comes at a cost. In looking at how medical indebtedness affects people in the United States, researchers from City University of New York’s Hunter College found that medical bills create enormous problems for Americans, and that illness and medical bills are responsible for more than 100 million personal bankruptcies.

The impact of this medical debt can make an illness like malignant mesothelioma even more devastating than it would be on its own. David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, who also lecture in medicine at Harvard Medical School and conduct research for Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, found that it was specifically medical bills rather than lost income or depleted assets that have the most troubling impact, leaving people unable to pay their other expenses, to purchase groceries, or even to pay their mortgages.

Mesothelioma Victims Can Seek Compensation for Their Medical Bills

While medical bills represent a huge problem for most Americans, those who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may be able to seek compensation from the asbestos companies that are responsible for their illness. These companies have consistently been found to have been negligent by juries all over the country and have been forced to provide compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Many have been ordered to pay victims’ families for their pain and suffering, and others have been required to pay punitive damages to punish them for having put their profits over people’s health and safety.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease and need information about how to pay for your care, the Patient Advocates at can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

Learn more about and contact Terri