According to Orlando Sentinel Florida Hospital will not bill the survivors of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, FL. Hospital officials said wednesday they will write off an estimated $5.5 Million dollars in medical expenses.
“The pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community,” Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said. “During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”
Orlando Regional Medical Center cared for 44 of the more than 50 victims who needed immediate medical attention following the June 12 attack that killed 49 people. The Level 1 trauma center was located just blocks from the nightclub.
Unfortunately Sadly, nine of the Pulse patients died shortly after arriving at Orlando Regional Medical Center, but hospital officials say their families also will not be charged.
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At Orlando Health, bills will be sent to health insurers for patients who had coverage, but whatever those policies don’t cover will be absorbed by the hospital chain, said spokeswoman Kena Lewis.
At Florida Hospital, which treated a dozen of the clubgoers, officials said they would not even bill the victims’ insurance for the treatment, nor will they bill for follow-up surgeries the survivors may need.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” said Daryl Tol, Florida Hospital’s president and CEO. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
“I was so worried because I can’t afford any of that,” said Mario Lopez, 34, who was grazed y a bullet and had fragments explode into his left side. After he was hit by the bullet, he fell to the ground and split his elbow on a shard of glass.
“I just went out for a fun night with friends. No one expected this to happen. My life was turned upside down, and then I had to worry about how I was going to pay back the hospital.”
Lopez, who is uninsured, was billed $20,000 for his seven-hour hospital visit.
“It’s a huge relief” to know he won’t have to pay, he said.
Orlando Health officials say they are going to work with victims who will need future surgeries as a result of the Pulse shootings.
“We can’t predict the future needs of these patients, their financial situations or what the state or federal governments may require us to do for charity policies,” said Lewis. “While we can’t assume the answer is free care forever, we will use our very generous charity and financial assistance policies to assess the best way” to help.