The Unexpected Way Hospitals Are Supporting Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images.
The October 1 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas left more than 500 people injured and flooded local hospitals with patients who had been shot, were struck by shrapnel, or received other injuries as people rushed out of the festival.
Those who worked at the hospitals did their best to treat every patient, whether or not they had insurance. But for those patients who don't have insurance or who were subject to expensive surgeries, financial stress is likely added to the physical and emotional burden of that night. Which is why some Las Vegas hospitals are waiving fees for shooting victims.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, a hospital that has a campus in Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Sun that none of the 79 people who were treated at the hospital following the shooting will pay out of pocket for their care.
"Our focus remains on the immediate medical and supportive care needs of the injured as well as their long-term healing process," Jennifer Cooper, a Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican spokeswoman, told the Las Vegas Sun. "St. Rose does not intend to bill or require payment from any patient victims of this tragic event."
Instead, the hospital plans to take payment from insurance and donors, but will ultimately lose the difference between what they are able to recover and the cost of care.
Two other medical facilities in the area, the University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital, are joining St. Rose in waiving at least a portion of patients' fees. And two ambulance services, American Medical Response and MedicWest Ambulance, also plan to withhold charges, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said in a tweet.
For those patients who do not get their bills covered through one of these hospitals, the state has a Victims of Violent Crime program to ease the financial burden. Gretchen Papez, a spokeswoman for Valley Health System, told the Las Vegas Sun that once a patient "completes all the paperwork — which includes an application and filing a police report — then the program will pay, and there will be no balance due from the patient."
"Our primary focus at this time is taking care of patient needs," Amy Doane, vice president, strategic planning and development for Sunrise Hospital, told the Las Vegas Sun.
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