Kaiser Health News/Washington Post reports.
Medical fundraising websites operate like online business fundraising sites, such as Kickstarter.
Individuals can participate in fundraising on the sites by:
Donations generally are accepted through PayPal or credit cards.
Medical fundraising websites are growing in number and profitability, according to KHN/Post. So far this year, GiveForward has raised more than $20 million for more than 15,000 campaigns -- compared with raising $225,000 for 359 campaigns in all of 2008.
Meanwhile, several other fundraising websites have launched over the last several years, including GoFundMe.com, YouCaring.com, FundRazr.com and Indiegogo.com.
In addition, medical groups and organizations are beginning to enter the market, according toKHN/Post. For instance, Rare Genomics Institute has been fundraising for two years to help families cover the costs of gene sequencing for patients with rare genetic diseases -- a procedure generally not covered by insurers that can cost about $10,000.
According to KHN/Post, there are some potential issues with the increased use of online fundraising sites, including: