Donations to help foot part of uninsured shooting victims' hospital bills, Las Vegas hospital says

Las Vegas-based University Medical Center of Southern Nevada will use the donations it has received to cover "as much of the uninsured expense as [the hospital] possibly can" for those injured during the Oct. 1 shooting, Newsweek reports.

A spokesperson for UMC told Newsweek the facility, which treated 100-plus patients, continues to receive donations following last Sunday's mass shooting. The spokesperson said the hospital plans to use those funds to cover the bills of uninsured patients who accumulated out-of-pocket expenses. However, the spokesperson was not aware of the exact number of patients admitted without insurance, according to the report.

Las Vegas-based Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, which received an estimated 200 patients following the incident, did not specify if the institution will consider covering the costs of treatment. A spokesperson told Newsweek, "[SH&MC's] primary focus at this time is taking care of still emergent patient needs," but that the hospital will be "extremely sensitive to the financial status" of shooting victims treated at the facility.

The Valley Health System, a six-hospital system in Las Vegas that treated 200-plus people, did not respond to Newsweek's inquiries about the shooting victims treated at the health system. However, in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review Oct. 12, a spokesperson for the health system said Nevada has a program in place to help victims affected by a violent crime. The spokesperson said if a patient completes all the necessary paperwork, which includes an application and filing a police report, the program will pay the patient's medical costs.

"All patients from this tragedy would be eligible for this program," the spokesperson told Becker's.

Despite potentially waiving initial treatment costs for victims, experts suggest the mass casualty incident may cost at least $600 million in lost quality of life, medical bills and follow-up care.

The two main Florida hospitals that treated those injured during the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June agreed to waive all out-of-pocket costs to ease any potential financial strains for patients, the report states. Boston health insurers similarly waived all out-of-pocket expenses for those injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Editor's note: This article was updated Oct. 12 to include additional information from The Valley Health System.

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