Local News

From hospital to homeless shelter?

Uninsured Idaho DUI victim faces uncertain future in SLC

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - An Idaho man is recovering from severe injuries at the University of Utah hospital after he was hit by a drunk driver but he now he faces an uncertain future.


Ray Hanson's life nearly ended on December 31st in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.

"New Year's Eve he was out on his bicycle and about 5 o'clock he was hit by a drunk driver," his brother in law Johnny Campbell explained.

The 57 year old mechanic was flown by helicopter to the University of Utah hospital where he was in the Intensive Care Unit for 10 days and in the Trauma Unit ever since.

"They had to reconstruct his face. He had a broken leg," Ray's sister Verna Campbell told News4Utah. "He had brain bleeds, brain swelling."

Now with his jaw wired shut and a feeding tube still in place, he's scheduled to leave the hospital Friday with no place to go.

"The hospital is doing a forced discharge," Verna said. "Ray does not have health insurance and the driver who hit him it was his 3rd DUI so he has no insurance so
 their discharge plan is they're going to put him in a taxi and take him to the homeless shelter downtown."

"I'm just flabbergasted," Hanson said through his clenched jaw. "You know finish what you started. Then if you don't want to go any further I can understand but don't quit in the middle."

University of Utah Health does not comment on specific patients but did send News4Utah a statement reading in part: "University of Utah Health is committed to providing excellent high-quality care to all our patients. That care and commitment would never be based on a patient's ability to pay...It would be against our hospital policy to release any patient before he or she is clinically ready to be discharged."

Ray's sister says he would not survive in a homeless shelter in his current condition. She calls it heartless.

"They're very callous," Verna said. "That's all I can say. It's about the money. They want him out."

Ray's family has applied for Idaho Medicaid to help pay for his rehabilitation therapy but they have not heard a response.
      
Meanwhile the University of Utah says that they provide $130 million a year in uncompensated care and they have financial counselors who can assist patients in filing for financial aid if necessary.

 

 


More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center