The Wenatchee World

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Bad for a hospital

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There is economic good that comes from a close proximity to a giant concert venue like The Gorge Amphitheatre. Few can doubt that, seeing the tax revenue and sales figures. But with the good comes the bad, and there are places where the bad concentrates, and the financial boost from the good has never been seen.

That’s inequitable, a burden unfairly borne. Good will never outweigh the bad, because the good don’t patronize the emergency room. Ask them at Quincy Valley Medical Center, which shelled out $500,000 to treat concertgoers in 2013. On one concert weekend, for the Paradiso Festival, the hospital treated 123 people, many suffering from an excess of drugs or alcohol. One patient died. The hospital said for the year it spent $100,000 on staffing and wrote off $500,000 in unpaid bills. Of course, no one was turned away.

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