Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2017

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Local hospitals working to help shooting victims with medical expenses

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John Locher / AP

Diana Litzenberg lies in a hospital bed at the University Medical Center, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in Las Vegas. Litzenberg was injured when she was trampled when Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the Mandalay Bay casino and began firing at a music festival Sunday.

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 | 5:25 p.m.

Those injured in the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip will undoubtedly be confronted with medical bills, and some area hospitals are stepping up to ease those patients’ financial worries.

On top of various donation drives, University Medical Center, Sunrise Hospital and Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican will assist shooting victims to pay varying amounts of their hospital costs.

“At Dignity Health-St. Rose, our focus remains on the immediate medical and supportive care needs of the injured as well as their long-term healing process,” said Jennifer Cooper, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican spokeswoman. “St. Rose does not intend to bill or require payment from any patient victims of this tragic event.”

To recoup some of the cost, the medical group will look to other avenues to pay for the shooting victims’ care.

“St. Rose will bill third-party payers (if any) and will be accepting contributions from donors in the community to address the financial and other burdens placed on these patient victims,” Cooper said.

UMC officials said they will work to help those who were uninsured so they will not have 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 said.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center officials said they have yet to determine an exact plan of action on victims’ medical bills because they remain focused on caring for those who still hospitalized.

“Our primary focus at this time is taking care of 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, strategic planning and development for Sunrise Hospital.

A representative of the Valley Health System noted that there is a state program known as Victims of Violent Crime. “All of the patients from this tragedy would be eligible for this program,” said Gretchen Papez, Valley Health System spokeswoman. “If the patient completes all the paperwork — which includes an application and filing a police report — then the program will pay, and there will be no balance due from the patient.”

None of the injured transported by American Medical Response (AMR) or its sister company, MedicWest Ambulance, or their families will receive a bill from them for transport or medical aid received, according to a tweet sent out by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak on Tuesday.

UnitedHealthcare, including Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health and Life, will cover the cost share for the initial course of emergency and trauma treatments for their members who were victims of the attack on Oct. 1, spokesman Trevor Hayes said.

Patient Update

There are still 26 victims of the shooting in critical condition in area hospitals as of Tuesday.

Sunrise Hospital took in 214 patients after the shooting. Of those, 23 patients remain hospitalized, with 13 of those in critical condition.

UMC took in 104 shooting victims, of which seven still remain in its care. Three of those remain in critical condition.

The Valley Health System took in 232 patients in its six area medical facilities, with two of the six hospitals still caring for patients. There are 12 remaining patients, with seven of those in critical condition.

Dignity Health took in 79 patients among St. Rose Dominican's Siena, Rose de Lima and San Martin facilities. Three shooting victims remain in St. Rose care, all of whom are in critical condition.

This version of the story is updated with information about AMR and UnitedHealthcare.