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Medical Malpractice

Medical Lenders Under Scrutiny for Cashing in on Desperate Patients

Pelvic mesh manufacturers have been the target of more than 100,000 lawsuits in federal and state courts since 2008. With massive amounts of money involved in potential settlements for the defective products, medical lenders have found a way to cash in on the misfortune of thousands of injured women: by investing in surgeries that desperate women cannot afford, in exchange for a substantial portion of any settlement that arises from litigation.

A little-known practice, medical lending involves funding surgeries in exchange for an inflated share of payouts if or when a settlement is reached. Medical funders argue that there is nothing wrong with this practice because they are taking a risk by advancing money against a case that may not ever see a settlement, and maintain that they are providing a valuable service to women who may not have any other options. However, critics believe that medical lenders are taking advantage of women and robbing them of the financial resources they need and are entitled to for their medical care.

Lenders make the initial investment by buying up heavily discounted medical bills from hospitals or doctors who are not interested in waiting years for a settlement before they get paid. They proceed to front money for the patient’s care, even offering “concierge services” like flights or hotel rooms. When the settlement is reached, however, this “generosity” must be repaid – the problem is that some lenders overstate the amount that the case is worth to drive up the value of the settlement. This allows them to pocket the difference, which is often several times more than what insurance would pay for the same procedure.

Some women are claiming that they were not adequately informed of how the lending worked and just how high the liens against their settlements could be. Unfortunately, while some aspects of medical lending fall under state lending laws, medical funders are not required to be licensed and are not subject to industry-wide rules. We advise patients to exercise caution when considering medical lending as an option for funding surgery, and to carefully weigh and understand all of the associated risks and benefits before agreeing to anything.

Are you struggling with a transvaginal mesh or other personal injury claim? You can trust in the Springfield personal injury attorneys at Strong Law, P.C. With a strong advocate on your side, you can get the sound legal advice you need to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information, and to set up a free consultation, please contact our firm at (417) 887-4300.

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