All posts tagged: KFF Health News

Hospitals Are Happy for Patients to Try GoFundMe

Hospitals Are Happy for Patients to Try GoFundMe

GoFundMe started as a crowdfunding site for underwriting “ideas and dreams,” and, as GoFundMe’s co-founders, Andrew Ballester and Brad Damphousse, once put it, “for life’s important moments.” In the early years, it funded honeymoon trips, graduation gifts, and church missions to overseas hospitals in need. Now GoFundMe has become a go-to for patients trying to escape medical-billing nightmares. One study found that, in 2020, the number of U.S. campaigns related to medical causes—about 200,000—was 25 times higher than the number of such campaigns on the site in 2011. More than 500 campaigns are currently dedicated to asking for financial help for treating people, mostly kids, with spinal muscular atrophy, a neurodegenerative genetic condition. The recently approved gene therapy for young children with the condition, by the drugmaker Novartis, costs about $2.1 million for the single-dose treatment. Perhaps the most damning aspect of all this is that paying for expensive care with crowdfunding is no longer seen as unusual; instead, it is being normalized as part of the health system, like getting blood work done or …

A Record Number of Californians Are Visiting Emergency Rooms for Dog Bites | Healthiest Communities Health News

A Record Number of Californians Are Visiting Emergency Rooms for Dog Bites | Healthiest Communities Health News

Those pandemic puppies are growing up to be a public health concern. The latest California data shows increased rates of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths from dog bites, with new records set after COVID-19 lockdowns. In 2022, there were 48,596 ER visits for dog bites in California, or 125 visits per 100,000 residents, a 70% increase in the rate of visits from 2005, according to the state Department of Health Care Access and Information. The rate of hospitalizations roughly doubled from 2006 through 2022. And although deaths from dog bites are extremely rare, the death rate in California rose about 70% during roughly the same period, with 28 deaths in the state from 2018 through 2022. Nationally, dog bites were the underlying cause of 96 deaths in 2022, while the death rate more than doubled from 2005 to 2022, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You’re supposed to socialize that puppy to new kinds of people, new kinds of animals, new kinds of places, new kinds of everything,” …