Two Orlando hospitals are going above and beyond to help the community heal from the worst mass shooting in US history by alleviating medical bills for Pulse Nightclub survivors, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Orlando Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital—the two main hospitals where victims were rushed on June 12—announced Wednesday that survivors would not be billed for out-of-pocket expenses. Florida Hospital, which treated 12 people, announced it will not even bill the insurance of covered patients. The tremendous act of kindness will end up costing the two medical centers around $5.5 million.
Orlando Health—the nonprofit healthcare network that operates Orlando Regional—said it plans to use private insurance, a city fund for victims, as well as state and federal funds, disability insurance, and charity care to cover the cost. The hospital treated 44 people who needed immediate medical attention after shooter Omar Mateen waged a rampage on the LGBTQ club, leaving 49 others dead.
Keena Lewis, a spokeswoman for Orlando Health, told the Sentinel that the hospital would also work with survivors to help cover the cost of future surgeries."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]," she said.
"The pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families, and our entire community," said David Strong, Orlando Health president and CEO. "This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."