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Thread: Ambulance costs take passengers for a ride

  1. #11
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
    Jul 2011

    In Russia, it's interesting.

    In Moscow, you have private ambulance services, which cost between 5,000 rubles ($86) for a call to any address within city limits bound by MKAD great ring highway, which circles the whole city through the inner perimeter; and up to 11,000 ($188; a full monthly pension for many elderly folks there) for calls to areas outside MKAD

    They are supposed to have more modern vans and equipment, but that honestly varies by company

    And then, you have the 103, the state hospital ambulance, 103, because that's what you dial on the phone for them (101 - firefighters, 102 - police)

    The government ambulance is free, but it comes with hurried, underpaid, overworked, overstretched staff, and sometimes old, out of shape trucks, although, in Moscow at least, they have updated the fleet fairly thoroughly in recent years, most carriages there are new and modern now, Mercedeses, as in the pics. But, still, there are never enough of them and they can never fully guarantee they will arrive in a reasonable time frame, especially with also the crazy traffic there.

    On the other hand, government ambulances receive full blessing by the Church

    No sin to die in one of those

    So, yeah, over there, that is the choice people have.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
    Nov 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post

    One patient got a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Another was charged $8,460 for a trip from one hospital that could not handle his case to another that could. Still another found herself marooned at an out-of-network hospital, where she’d been taken by ambulance without her consent.

    These patients all took ambulances in emergencies and got slammed with unexpected bills. Public outrage has erupted over surprise medical bills — generally out-of-network charges that a patient did not expect or could not control — prompting 21 states to pass laws protecting consumers in some situations. But these laws largely ignore ground ambulance rides, which can leave patients stuck with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in bills. Patients usually choose to go to the doctor, but they are vulnerable when they call 911 — or get into an ambulance. The dispatcher picks the ambulance crew, which, in turn, often picks the hospital. Moreover, many ambulances are not summoned by patients. Instead, the crew arrives at the scene having heard about an accident on a scanner, or because police or a bystander called 911.

    Forty years ago, most ambulances were free for patients, provided by volunteers or town fire departments using taxpayer money, said Jay Fitch, president of Fitch & Associates, an emergency services consulting firm. Today, ambulances are increasingly run by private companies and venture capital firms. Ambulance providers now often charge by the mile and sometimes for each “service,” like providing oxygen. If the ambulance is staffed by paramedics rather than emergency medical technicians, that will result in a higher charge — even if the patient didn’t need paramedic-level services.

    The core of the problem is that ambulance and private insurance companies often can’t agree on a fair price, so the ambulance service doesn’t join the insurance network. That leaves patients stuck in the middle with out-of-network charges that are not negotiated. Plus ambulance companies are “severely underfunded” by Medicare and Medicaid, so they must balance the books by charging higher rates for patients with private insurance.
    Exactly what you get when you privatize, people making profits off screwing other people
    Thanks from Dangermouse

  3. #13
    Veteran Member Dangermouse's Avatar
    Feb 2010

    Sunny Bournemouth, Dorset
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sampson Simpson View Post
    Exactly what you get when you privatize, people making profits off screwing other people
    Other people's misfortune is a venture capitalist's business opportunity!

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