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It's been a little more than a week since a gunman identified as Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 20,000 on the last night of a country music festival in Las Vegas. Hundreds of patients flooded areas hospitals with grievous injuries, and now some of those hospitals have announced they'll be helping victims with the costs of their care, which for many was extensive.
Local news outlet the Las Vegas Sun said University Medical Center, Sunrise Hospital and Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican will be helping shooting victims pay their bills.
According to the Sun, University Medical Center officials said they'll work with the uninsured victims to make sure they are not left with a financial burden.
"Because we have had an outpouring of support for our patients, we are closely coordinating uninsured expenses with generous donors," UMC spokeswoman Danita Cohen told the Sun.
The report said UMC received 104 shooting victims. They are still treating seven, three of which are critical.
Dignity Health-St. Rose said they are primarily focused on the needs and recovery of the victims still in their care, and will not be asking patients for payment. Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican spokeswoman Jennifer Cooper, told the Sun "St. Rose does not intend to bill or require payment from any patient victims of this tragic event."
Cooper said they'll seek other ways of recouping some of the costs, including billing third-party payers, and will be accepting donations from the community to alleviate the financial burdens. Dignity Health's St. Rose Dominican's Siena, Rose de Lima and San Martin facilities took in 79 patients total . Three critical victims are still being cared for, according to the Sun.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center took in 199 patients from the shooting. As of Wednesday, 20 patients remained in the hospital, 11 patients in critical condition. There were 16 fatalities at that hospital. Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center and Mountain View are also part of their system. Southern Hills treated and released 12 patients. Mountain View Hospital
treated and released 8 patients.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center told Healthcare Finance in a statement that they have not mapped out an exact plan as to how they will help. "Our primary focus at this time is taking care of still emergent patient needs; we will be extremely sensitive to the financial status of all Sunrise Hospital patients impacted by last Sunday's mass casualty event," said Amy Doane, vice president of strategic planning and development for Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
One official pointed out a public program called the Victims of Crime Program, which can help with hospital and ambulance bills. It's state website said the program can only reimburse crime-related expenses that are not covered by other sources, there are limits on individual benefits and no claim may exceed $35,000