Great Health Divide | Accumulation of medical debt a growing crisis, experts say
Kentucky’s Appalachian counties have higher shares of people with medical debt in collections, statistics show.
Medical debt can be a crushing burden, data shows, for far too many Kentucky families.
Hospital bills can quickly pile up – even to the point of forcing bankruptcy – creating a growing crisis across Kentucky even as non-profit organizations try to help those in debt.
“Every number is a person. Every number is a story,” Josh Miles, mission and family pastor at Westport Road Baptist Church in Louisville, said as he flipped through a spreadsheet showing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt that has been forgiven. “It’s not just individuals. Some of these are families….That’s a wide scope to impact and change people’s lives.”