Hospital Still Seeks LN Cash

Quincy Valley Medical Center in Washington still seeks assistance from Live Nation to help cover medical bills associated with concerts at the nearby .  

Photo: Matthew Lamb

Quincy Valley said in February it had approached Live Nation about the strain concerts put on its small facility and proposed a tax or fee be added to concert tickets for medical costs, but that it did not receive much support at the time from LN.

The hospital claims 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 for treatment.

Hospital officials met with Grant County Commissioners and a Live Nation representative April 2 to examine the issue, according to the local IFiberOne News website.

Quincy Valley Medical consultant Pat Boss told the site the hospital isn’t trying to point the finger.

“I think the issue is, ‘How do we come up with a way … to mitigate or fix this?’ … either by compensating the hospital or by some other means that would help to mitigate this,” he said.

A major concern is the increase in patients the facility admits during concert season, hospital administrator Medhi Merred added. Merred said Quincy Valley Medical normally handles 10-15 patients per day, but numbers can jump to as many as 40 patients per day during a concert.

“Each of these (concerts) brings different kinds of conditions. Paradiso, we know drugs,” Merred said. “Watershed is different. Drunk cowboys start fights. (We see) broken arms, just a really crazy crowd out there. Sasquatch (we see) a lot of dehydration.”

When some of those patients skip out on their medical bills, the hospital says it’s forced to send bills for collection and reportedly recovers only 10 cents for each dollar a patient owes.

Danny Wilde, a Sr. VP for Live Nation Pacific Northwest, told IFiberOne News he couldn’t speak about what the company might do to help the hospital district with the bills, but attorneys from LN are in discussions with attorneys from the hospital district.

Wilde also said improvements are planned for the Gorge such as expanding the hours emergency medical technicians will be on site and expanding the venue’s first aid station.

“That we hope will mitigate some of the need to transport [attendees],” he said. “There are rules and regulations for what various levels of EMTs can do on site, so we want to be able to provide a higher level of service.”

A representative for Live Nation did not respond to a request for comment at press time.