When you’ve been through a major illness or had an accident that resulted in an ambulance ride, it’s pretty common to experience sticker shock when you read through your medical bills and discover the price of that ride. Even when the ride is covered by your medical insurance, your co-pay and deductible can break the bank. So, why do ambulance rides cost so much? Our Kansas City personal injury lawyer explains below.
Breaking Down the Cost of an Ambulance Ride
According to a report given to Congress by the Government Accountability Office, ambulance rides can cost anywhere from $224 to $2,204, and the costs can be even higher in rural areas.
So why do ambulance rides cost so much, especially if you are only going a short distance? Some private ambulance companies estimate that 50-60 percent of their patients can’t pay their bills, so those costs are passed onto the patients who can pay. And for patients on Medicare who use ambulances, the government has limited how much they will reimburse the ambulance company. Any remaining costs are passed onto others.
How Emergency Transportation Became Big Business
It’s also important to understand that emergency transportation has become a big business in the last few decades. One of the largest ambulance companies operates in 42 states and has annual revenues of $1.3 billion. There is little competition between companies, and in an emergency, you’re not likely to call several companies to compare prices. So in many cases, the companies are free to charge as much as they want.
That Can't Be the Only Reason. Why Do Ambulance Rides Cost So Much?
Another reason why ambulance rides cost so much is beacuse they also include the salaries and training for the paramedics who are on call 24/7, costs for equipment and medication administered to you in the ambulance, and indirect costs for the ambulance and upgrades of equipment.
Many consumers find that they can negotiate with ambulance companies and get a break on the bill, especially if you are willing to pay immediately.
Overwhelmed With Medical Debt? Contact Our Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you are overwhelmed with medical bills, our personal injury law firm can help you get a fair settlement if you were injured in an accident due to another person's negligence. Contact us online or give us a call today at 816-842-6200 to shcedule a free consultation with our Kansas City personal injury lawyer.