Cancer Groups Applaud New Protections for Virginians Facing Medical Debt

Patient organizations thank lawmakers for new law prohibiting reporting of medical debt to credit agencies

April 11, 2024

Leading patient organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), applaud Virginia lawmakers for passing legislation to protect patients from the harmful effects of medical debt.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin this week signed into law HB 1370, which prohibits certain health care facilities and providers from reporting patients’ medical debt to consumer reporting agencies. Delegate Karrie Delaney sponsored the legislation.

“By ensuring that medical debt cannot be reported to consumer reporting agencies, Virginians will be able to deal with medical situations without worrying that the debt they incur will unfairly and negatively impact every other aspect of their life,” Del. Delaney said. “I am grateful that my HB 1370 passed into law and will help ease the financial burden of Virginian families suffering from illness or unexpected medical emergencies.”

Patient organizations across the state urged elected officials to adopt the legislation. A recent national poll led by the ACS CAN, LLS and the nonprofit R.I.P. Medical Debt, found that nearly half of adults nationwide have faced medical debt. Among them, nearly half said their debt had left them feeling “trapped.”

 “The harm of medical debt can follow a patient for years – in many cases, long after the debt itself is paid,” explained Lauren Edwards, government affairs manager at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “Nobody chooses to have medical debt. We applaud the General Assembly and Gov. Youngkin for standing up for patients so they can focus on what’s most important: their health.”

Medical debt’s impact is particularly acute on cancer patients. A recent ACS CAN survey of cancer patients and survivors found roughly half (51%) of respondents have incurred cancer-related medical debt, the majority of whom (53%) report having their debt go into collections, and 46% of whom say the debt has negatively impacted their credit. 

“Patients already must deal with managing their disease. That’s stressful enough. They shouldn’t have to worry about their debt impacting their ability to survive and thrive. The only thing they should be focused on is managing their condition,” said Brian Donohue, Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in Virginia. “ACS CAN is glad that state lawmakers agreed and passed this legislation. We are eager to see a definitive burden lifted for patients across the state.”



About ACS CAN  

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We stand with our volunteers, working to make cancer a top priority for policymakers in cities, states and our nation’s capital. Join the fight by visiting


About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the global leader in the fight against blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. To learn more, visit


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