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Top states for medical debt – a slideshow


Apart from being bad for personal and family finances, it appears the growing burden of medical debt is taking a toll on patient health across the United States.

A new study across 2,943 counties found populations with more medical debt also had more days of poor physical and mental health, more years of life lost, and higher mortality rates for all-cause and leading causes of death. The American Cancer Society published the original investigation in JAMA Network Open.

“If medical debt were a chronic illness, it would be more common than coronary artery disease, diabetes, or cancer,” said an accompanying commentary from two physicians.

They also asked: “What can we do about it?”

The study authors suggested a number of possibilities for federal and state lawmakers, employers, insurance companies, and hospitals and health systems.

This slideshow lists the top seven states with medical debt. Data and potential solutions are listed in the study, “Associations of Medical Debt With Health Status, Premature Death, and Mortality in the U.S.”

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