Hospital To LN: Pay Up!

Quincy Valley Medical Center in Washington wants Live Nation to help pay the medical bills that have accumulated from concerts at nearby .

Photo: Matthew Lamb

The hospital says at least 20 percent of its bad debt, or more than $400,000 a year, comes from Gorge patrons who don’t pay up in some form, according to the Quincy Valley Post-Register.

“We have to put 12 additional (full-time employees) on those days and on top of that, we see people who don’t want to pay,” hospital administrator Mehdi Merred told the paper. “So when does it stop? When can we sit down and really be heard?”

More than 80 Gorge patrons attending the Paradiso Festival, an electronic dance music event, visited the hospital’s emergency department in June over the course of four days.

Urgent care saw a total of 123 people during those four days.

The hospital typically sees nine to 10 people a day during a typical weekend, the paper said.

Of the 87 people who said they were from the event, 40 were there for drug- and alcohol-related treatments and the rest were for other problems such as dehydration and lacerations.

Of the 123 cases, one died of a methamphetamine-related overdose, according to the paper.

Quincy Valley Medical Center said it approached Live Nation about the strain the concert put on its small hospital and proposed a tax or fee be added to concert tickets for medical costs, but a hospital representative said it did not receive much support for the proposal from Live Nation.

The hospital believes Grant County’s contract with Live Nation, which provides law enforcement Gorge events, allows for compensation, according to the paper.

The hospital said it sent a letter to Live Nation in November to discuss negotiations for compensation but has yet to receive a response.

A Live Nation spokeswoman was unavailable for comment at press time.