Hospital bills covered for victims of Pulse nightclub shooting; first responders must pay for PTSD

Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida won’t have to pay for their medical care, the two hospitals that treated them announced. Yet first responders suffering psychological trauma from that night won’t receive workers’ compensation.

Orlando Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital will not charge victims for their medical treatment after a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub, killing 49 and wounding 53 more. Most victims went to Orlando Regional, which treated 44 patients, nine of whom later died. One person remains hospitalized at the Level 1 trauma center that is half a mile from the club. A dozen victims went to Florida Hospital.

Orlando Health, the nonprofit healthcare network that operates Orlando Regional, will bill patients’ insurance companies, but will cover the remaining “unreimbursed costs” ‒ expected to top $5 million ‒ through other resources, such as a victims fund set up by city officials, disability insurance and Florida’s crime victim compensation program.

“Orlando Health has not sent any hospital or medical bills directly to Pulse patients and we don’t intend to pursue reimbursement of medical costs from them,” the company said in a statement Wednesday night.“We are exploring numerous options to help the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy address immediate and ongoing medical costs.”

Florida Hospital, meanwhile, will not charge the insurance companies, nor will it bill for any follow-up surgeries that survivors may need. The bills so far have totaled more than $525,000. – READ MORE

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