The ongoing American epidemic of mass shootings is forcing hospitals to develop new skills in helping patients with large medical costs.
It’s also spotlighting serious gaps in insurance coverage for medical and long-term care. Hospitals in Fort Worth, Texas, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Calif., Aurora, Colo., Orlando, Fla., Newtown, Conn. and other areas have had to help shooting victims cope with major uncovered costs. Such costs include inpatient care, follow-up surgeries and other treatments, mental healthcare, rehabilitation and skilled-nursing care, durable medical equipment, personal care, and living costs while the patients are not able to work.
The needs have been exacerbated by the proliferation of health plans with high deductibles and coinsurance requirements, leaving patients exposed to many thousands of dollars in cost-sharing. Severely injured patients needing repeat surgeries may hit their out-of-pocket spending limits multiple years in a row, forcing them into bankruptcy. On top of that, even insured patients may