Florida Hospital and Orlando Health will not be billing Pulse Night Club shooting victims. On June 12, 2016, more than 50 people were injured and 49 were killed in a terrorist attack/hate crime at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Since then, Orlando Regional Medical Center, less than a mile from the nightclub, has treated 44 of the victims. Florida Hospital, one of 46 Adventist Health System campuses, has treated 12.
Orlando Health, Orlando Regional’s parent company, will be billing insurance that patients may have but will not ask the patients for co-pays or deductibles. It will instead turn to state funding and private fundraising accounts to cover the costs totaling approximately $5 million.
Florida Hospital will go one step further and waive costs entirely, not even billing insurance. With fewer patients than Orlando Regional, it’s reported that Florida Hospital will be covering approximately $535,000 in hospital fees.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” Daryl Tol, president and CEO of Florida Hospital and the Central Florida region for Adventist Health System, said in a statement. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported that one uninsured patient, Mario Lopez, had acquired approximately $20,000 in hospital fees after just a seven-hour visit. His fees and the medical bills of the other victims are now covered, even those who died after arriving at the hospital.
"I was so worried because I can't afford any of that," said Lopez, echoing the sentiments of many other survivors. “It’s a huge relief.”
Hallie Anderson is a student intern for Spectrum and a senior communications student studying journalism and public relations at Walla Walla University.
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