Orlando Health have just announced that they plan on writing off an estimated $5.5 million or more in care for the Pulse Shooting victims.
“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.”
The main facility treated 44 of the more than 50 victims who needed immediate medical attention from the June 12 attack that killed 49 people. The nightclub is only a couple of blocks from the Level 1 trauma center.
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 visiting from Miami when he went to the club after a friend’s housewarming party.
“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 grazed by a bullet and had fragments explode into his left side. After he was hit, he fell and split his elbow on a shard of glass. His seven-hour hospital visit left him with a new nightmare: a potential $20,000-bill.
“It’s a huge relief” to know he won’t have to pay, he said.
At Orlando Health, Lewis said the hospital would work with victims who will need future surgeries as a result of the shootings.
As it is, the hospital chain is expecting to shoulder at least $5 million in unreimbursed care for the Pulse victims, many of whom had extensive injuries, Lewis said. Florida Hospital officials said the bills there totaled more than $525,000.
We are beyond proud of what Orlando Health are doing. It just goes to show the good nature of our city.