The FFAM360 Alliance of Companies Forgives $90M of Cancer Treatment Debt During COVID-19

The FFAM360 Alliance of Companies recently purchased and forgave $90 million dollars of medical debt owed by more than 38,000 patients at a leading cancer treatment center that serves cancer patients across the United States. Understanding the emotional, physical, and financial struggles that accompany a cancer diagnosis, FFAM360 partnered with a non-profit corporation to ensure that the debt forgiveness was an outright gift with no future financial obligation related to each patient’s forgiven account.

“The journey of cancer treatment and recovery can be long and difficult. When this opportunity to forgive $90 million of cancer treatment debt presented itself to our executive team, we immediately recognized and agreed that this was a way for us to provide an immediate, positive impact in the lives of over 38,000 people living with the effects if cancer,” says Mike Woodyshek, Director of National Accounts. “To alleviate the stress of debt, especially debt related to medical treatments, it is a financial blessing that we are thankful to be able to bestow.”

The Financial Impact of Cancer and COVID

At some point during their lifetimes, about 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health on the quality of life of cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic revealed that “87% of respondents replied that the COVID‐19 pandemic reduced their sense of security and significantly affected their daily functioning.” Most respondents also expressed worry about income due to economic conditions and how the impact of the pandemic could affect their treatment.

A cancer diagnosis and the steadily rising cost of treatment can lead to problems that include paying medical bills, going into debt, filing for bankruptcy, and delaying or forfeiting life-saving medical care due to cost. For people living with cancer, the economic uncertainty of the pandemic has created a compounded dilemma as the world experiences both a medical crisis and an economic crisis. Between high medical costs, out of pocket expenditures, job loss, and the need for increased health precautions and protective measures, many cancer patients are not able to pay their medical bills and their accounts go into arrears. When this happens, they turn to family members to borrow money or they forgo treatment altogether. The lingering effects of these financial impacts often last for years for cancer survivors and their families.

“At FFAM360, we choose to live intentionally and support one another and the causes that impact those closest to us,” says President & Chief Investment Officer Matthew Maloney. “I can’t think of one person I know who hasn’t been impacted by cancer. We hope that through this debt forgiveness, we have alleviated a stress that will now enable each person and their families to focus on their recovery and long-term success instead of worrying about how they will pay their bills.”

What Does Debt Forgiveness Mean For the Patients?

With approximately 38,000 patients in the $90 Million debt portfolio, the average account balance was almost $2,400.00. When debt is forgiven instead of repaid, account obligors are supposed to receive a 1099 for the amount of the forgiven (or canceled) debt as it is considered taxable income and account obligors are required to report the canceled debt on their tax returns for the year the cancellation occurs.

However, through a strategic arrangement with a 501(c)3, non-profit corporation, all of the acquired medical debt was completely canceled through funds provided by anonymous donors. The forgiveness of each patient’s debt was a no-strings-attached gift. The patients no longer have any obligation to pay the aforementioned medical debt to anyone at any future time. Because the debt was canceled as a gift through the non-profit vehicle, it is not income to the patients, and they do not owe any taxes on it.

“FFAM360’s culture is centered around our people, lifting up others, and driving positive change. At the end of each day, it’s important that we have done something toward a greater purpose; that is what defines Intentional Living. The investments we make in our communities and the people within them are how we actively live our motto to ‘Clearly Go Above and Beyond.’ Through the purchase and forgiveness of this debt, we are providing the opportunity for each person to live free from debilitating cancer-related debt. We have been and will always be committed to giving back, providing hope, and sharing with others,” says President and Chief Investment Officer Matthew Maloney.

US Cancer Statistics

The economic impact of cancer treatment as reported by the American Cancer Society is that 52% of cancer treatment cost is for hospital outpatient or doctor office visits while 38% of treatment cost is for inpatient hospital stays. Here are some additional cancer statistics from the National Cancer Institute:

  • In 2018, the national expenditures for cancer care in the US were $150.8 billion. 
  • As of January 2019, there were approximately 16.9 million cancer survivors in the US.
  • By 2030, the number of cancer survivors is anticipated to increase to $22.2 million.
  • Treatment costs are expected to increase as new, and often more expensive, treatments are established as standards of care.

Learn More

For more information on what people living with cancer should know about coronavirus, please visit cancer.gov.

FFAM360 has long-supported cancer research and hosts annual fundraisers  to help further Breast Cancer Awareness & Research. To learn more about how they support communities, please follow the official FFAM360 accounts (look for our logo!) on Facebook and LinkedIn. More information about the company, community involvement and charitable giving can also be found on the FFAM360 News page.

About First Financial Asset Management (FFAM360)
The FFAM360 Alliance of companies deploys world-class people, operations, and technology to deliver revenue cycle solutions to their clients that optimize their credit and revenue lifecycles. Founded in 2002 with the vision of creating a best-in-class organization that provides comprehensive solutions across the Insurance Subrogation, Healthcare RCM, Financial Services, and Human Resource Staffing sectors, FFAM360 has achieved many significant awards and recognitions including being honored by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (“WBENC”) as a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise. They are headquartered just outside Atlanta, GA, with additional offices in Phoenix, AZ and Paso Robles, CA.

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