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Hospitals that treated Pulse nightclub terror victims won't be charging patients
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Two hospitals in Orlando, Florida, have announced that they will not bill the survivors of the June 12 Pulse nightclub terror attack that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. - photo by Billy Hallowell
Two hospitals in Orlando, Florida, have announced that they will not bill survivors of the June 12 Pulse nightclub terror attack that left 49 dead and 53 wounded.

It's a development that victims of the horrific rampage will surely welcome, as the costs for intensive medical care have mounted. Additionally, the families of nine people who died after reaching a local hospital will not be charged.

Orlando Health and Florida Hospital have, instead, decided to write-off an estimated total of $5.5 million in expenses, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

David Strong, CEO of Orlando Health, said that the Pulse shooting was a "horrendous tragedy" and that the hospital network is simply looking to help by giving back to the community.

"During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support," Strong said. "This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."

Orlando Regional Medical Center, which is the main hospital in the network, treated 44 of the victims due to its close proximity to the nightclub, according to the Orlando Sentinel. While health insurance will be billed, the company will not charge victims for any expenses that are not covered by affiliated plans.

As for Florida Hospital, the organization doesn't plan to bill health insurance, nor does it plan to charge the 12 patients who were treated there.

"It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting," Daryl Tol, president and CEO of Florida Hospital, said, according to NBC News. "We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando."

Orlando Health has about $5 million in care that has not been paid for, with Florida Hospital reporting around $525,000.

The generous move is capturing attention, especially considering the costs that victims would have incurred. Consider 34-year-old Mario Lopez, who is uninsured. He was injured during the attack and ended up with $20,000 in medical bills.

"I just went out for a fun night with friends. No one expected this to happen," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "My life was turned upside down, and then I had to worry about how I was going to pay back the hospital."

Orlando Health is planning to also help victims who have ongoing medical costs by using state and federal funds and by looking to charity to help bridge financial divides, according to a statement from the hospital.

That's yet another development that will surely be welcomed, seeing as some victims still reportedly require follow-up surgeries.

As previously reported, Orlando gunman Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub, an LGBTQ establishment, and murdered 49 people in what became the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
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