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Hospitals Limit Medical Bills for Aurora Theater Shooting Victims

Annie-Rose Strasser
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Thursday 26 July 2012
Denver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital haven’t said what they’ll do, but the hospitals are Colorado’s top safety net hospitals in a state where 14 percent of residents are uninsured.
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Days before the birth of their first child, Caleb and Kate Medley went to a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, that turned into the horrible massacre. Katie made it out without any serious injury, but Caleb wasn’t so lucky. He took a bullet to the eye and is in a medically induced coma, expected to take years to recover. Neither have insurance.

On Tuesday, their son Hugo was born, adding some joy to the tragedy but also more expenses.

While Caleb’s family is still raising money for his care, uninsured victims of the shooting at other hospitals are seeing some relief. Three of the five hospitals where victims are being treated announced Thursday that they will be limiting or eliminating their hospital costs:

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays. [...]

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients. Those hospitals have treated 22 shooting victims. However, the company cautioned its policy may not apply to all doctors working in its hospitals.

Denver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital, where Caleb and other victims are being treated, haven’t said what they’ll do, but the hospitals are Colorado’s top safety net hospitals in a state where 14 percent of residents are uninsured.

“We’re going to do everything that we can for these patients on a case by case basis,” said a representative of the Colorado hospital where Caleb is being treated. “The University Colorado Hospital provides $300 million in uncompensated care every year.”

Money donated from concerned citizens and the studio that released the movie The Dark Knight Rises has already totaled $2 million, the AP reported today. But that’s a drop in the bucket for victims who will leave the hospital with lifelong injuries and special needs.

Indeed, Caleb’s medical bills alone could add up to $2 million. So far, the family has raised one-quarter of the amount.

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ABOUT Annie-Rose Strasser

Annie-Rose Strasser is a Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress. Before joining American Progress, she worked for the community organizing non-profit Center for Community Change as a new media specialist. Previously, Annie-Rose served as a press assistant for Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Annie-Rose holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the George Washington University.

This tragedy shows that

This tragedy shows that anyone can end up in the hospital needing expensive treatment regardless of age. Young people don't think they need health care but unfortunately they may.

If oldhat had an idea what he

If oldhat had an idea what he was talking about, he'd be dangerous. As it is, he's just plain STUPID!!
By rights, the victims should not have to pay for their injuries. Its just not right. They were completely innocent, just going to the movies.
WHO were the IDIOTS that defeated the assault rifle ban? THEY should be held liable.
The ONLY thing those guns are for is to wage war, that said, the military arsenal is where these guns belong, not in the hands of the average citizen, much less a kook.
No, I do not believe he is THAT sick - he is playing a good role.

And if I am not mistaken our

And if I am not mistaken our (?) representatives passed laws that hold the gun makers harmless no matter how much harm their products do. That's right, it's the people who kill, not guns!

Don't think the families of

Don't think the families of the dead got off any cheaper either. The morticians lobby has made sure of that.

The gun lobby and weapons

The gun lobby and weapons manufacturers seem to think victims are expendable - they should pay for ANY shootings which result in injury. Bet they'd get behind Single Payer health care in a hurry!

a comprehensive health care

a comprehensive health care run by bho buddy dr donald [death panel ] Berwick these people would be determined to be expendable

You may not be that old of a

You may not be that old of a hat to remember that Nixon was the person who ushered in HMO's and "managed" (aka gotta make a profit) care. Death panels were legalized 1974. They just go by the name of insurance review panels where they decide who gets what treatements and might live and who doesn't and die.

I am sure the insurance companies have their actuaries on OT to figure out when they will cut these injured people off. I am also sure they are having their legal eagles looking for any possible escape clause so they can avoid paying all together.

Imagine... If we had a


If we had a non-profit, comprehensive health care system similar to those in EVERY other OECD nation, this would NOT BE AN ISSUE!

But no, we're the last rich country still tinkering with heavily rationed for-profit sick care...

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