Orlando hospitals eat medical bills, still not enough for some Pulse nightclub victims

Many victims injured in the June Pulse nightclub shooting are depending on funds raised by the OneOrlando Fund and state organizations to cover their medical expenses. But experts say donations, currently about $23 million, likely won't be sufficient to cover all the incoming bills, long-term care and lost wages, reports Orlando Sentinel.

The OneOrlando Fund has drawn significant contributions from corporations, celebrities, sports franchises and individuals, and is still accepting donations. Orlando (Fla.) Health and FloridaHospital in Orlando have decided to write off medical expenses for Pulse victims as charity care. Anesthesiologists, surgeons and radiologists who are affiliated with the hospitals and who bill separately from the hospitals have agreed to do the same.

Florida also has a victim compensation fund that covers medical bills, mental health expenses and lost wages up to $50,000 for the catastrophically injured and $15,000 for other survivors. It has paid out more than $287,700 in Pulse-related claims so far, according to the article.

Despite these significant financial contributions, experts say it will not be enough to cover each victim's claims.

"The reality is when you're talking about 49 families who were affected because someone was killed, and 53 people who went to the hospital and hundreds of others who are going to be reeling from having been inside when all those things took place — when you break it down, it's not that much in a lot of cases," Michael Farmer of Equality Florida told Orlando Sentinel.

Experts agree, however, the hospitals' decision not to bill victims for emergency services will help the OneOrlando Fund to cover many more victims' expenses.

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