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Son billed $781 after dad dies waiting for ambulance

washington dc ems records ambulance unavailable dc council member

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#16 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 13:43

2 trained ER's, 1 Driver possibly trained in ER, phone system costs, medical insurance costs, $200,000 vehicle rental costs , after-service call check over and maintenance costs, and on and on and on... rent any $200k vehicle and driver for a couple hours and you are looking at the same bill. Now that one looks at it, its a damn cheap to get that for $700 considering what it is.

Looks cheap until you use some common sense. Of course, that would require you to stop trolling.
  • 2 trained ER's, 1 Driver possibly trained in ER: At $40 an hour, which is more than they get paid, with an average time of 11 minutes to respond, without giving any service, $22 dollars total.
  • Phone system: less than 60 cents. That is including the cost of the operator which gets paid close to minimum wage.
  • There are no medical insurance costs because no treatment was given. (He was already dead. Had you read the post and not been trolling, you would have known that.
  • The most expensive ambulance's in the US cost $133,000, and they are in New York. On average, the cost is around $85,000. With a 10 year life span, the per minute cost is about 11 cents. So that means, for a $133,000 ambulance, which these are not, $1.21.
So far we are up to $23.81. No medical equipment was used, gas cost would have been less than a dollar. Maintenance from that trip would be just as small. At worst, the cost of that ambulance is less $30-$40 for an 11 minute response time.


#17 +techbeck

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 13:46

**** happened, mistakes were made. If an Ambulance was not available, then that really sucks. The bill was probably sent in mistake and lack of a slow news day for the media, this became news.

#18 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:04

What are you talking about? I didn't say that healthcare has no costs, I simply said that those costs are born by those who can afford to pay. The unemployed or people who earn too little don't pay National Insurance (the tax that covers healthcare and pensions) which means that these people don't pay for the cost of an ambulance or a doctor. Similarly, nobody has to pay for healthcare at the point that they need to use the system which means that there are no sudden bills that you might not be able to afford if you've run out of money.

Also, why do you find it so hard to reply to a post without being rude and aggressive? You seem to have a massive inferiority complex.

Of course someone like you would claim someone else has a massive inferiority complex. Every post from you is about how superior you and the UK is. Hence we get trash like this.

Not if you can't afford it. Here in the UK we support each other to ensure that everyone is cared for whereas in the US people can only use an ambulance if they can afford it.

I am not being rude or aggressive. Just responding to the trash you keep posting about how the UK is so much better than the US. Whether that is true or not is debatable, but you only use lies to debate it so not worth debating with you.

#19 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:13

What are you talking about? I didn't say that healthcare has no costs, I simply said that those costs are born by those who can afford to pay. The unemployed or people who earn too little don't pay National Insurance (the tax that covers healthcare and pensions) which means that these people don't pay for the cost of an ambulance or a doctor. Similarly, nobody has to pay for healthcare at the point that they need to use the system which means that there are no sudden bills that you might not be able to afford if you've run out of money.


It's also worth pointing out that the UK pays half the amount that the US does relative to GDP and provides a better service, according to the World Health Organisation. So people in the US pay more and get less, with the poor being the hardest hit by such charges - it's a fundamentally flawed and unfair system.

The right to health is considered a fundamental human right by the UN, yet in the US it's treated like a privilege.

#20 +giantsnyy

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:26

...

  • 2 trained ER's, 1 Driver possibly trained in ER: At $40 an hour, which is more than they get paid, with an average time of 11 minutes to respond, without giving any service, $22 dollars total.
You're not just paying for the drivers and EMT's for that ride. You're paying for all of them.
  • Phone system: less than 60 cents. That is including the cost of the operator which gets paid close to minimum wage.
Not the case. E-911 call charges take into account the overhead of the entire building, not just the cost of the call and operator. You have to pay their supervisors, and building maintenance too.
  • There are no medical insurance costs because no treatment was given. (He was already dead. Had you read the post and not been trolling, you would have known that.
If they were paid EMS techs, then they have health insurance. Who's going to cover the EMS tech's medical bills if they get sick?? That's what he was referring to.
  • The most expensive ambulance's in the US cost $133,000, and they are in New York. On average, the cost is around $85,000. With a 10 year life span, the per minute cost is about 11 cents. So that means, for a $133,000 ambulance, which these are not, $1.21.
Fuel, maintenance, supplies, storage. Maybe no equipment was used, but how did it get there in the first place? It's not like the equipment isn't billed by the source company until it's used. What about the building where the ambulances are stored? Most are rented, the money to pay for that must come from somewhere? Remember, you're paying for ALL of that. Most of the volunteer rides cost about the same in my township. They're entirely funded on the billing that comes from the ambulance rides.

#21 V8nside

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:28

In Canada a trip in an Ambulance to the Hospital is around $150. This came about mostly because people would use the Ambulance service as a personal Taxi service when they needed to go to the hospital for Dialysis, or tests.

#22 OP Hum

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:32

The $781 bill is not based on just this incident -- it is high to cover all those other cases where the people can't or won't pay.

#23 LaP

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:33

Sadly, in a lot of cities a 30 min 911 response time isn't considered unusual. There was a story on the Detroit news a few weeks ago about a woman who called in a home robbery and it took 2 hours.


wow

The only time i called an ambulance (for my mom) it was there in less than 5. The only time i called the police (when i was working as a parking attendant) it was there in less than 5 minutes. I can understand if you call at an hour where there's traffic congestion but in the middle of the night it should be there in less than 10 minutes easily.

#24 Xilo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:34

Sadly, in a lot of cities a 30 min 911 response time isn't considered unusual. There was a story on the Detroit news a few weeks ago about a woman who called in a home robbery and it took 2 hours.

Well it is Detroit afterall... The whole city is practically a warzone.

#25 testman

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:50

OMFG are you lot nutters? Stop attacking each other.

In the UK, people who work pay National Insurance contributions out of their wages. This means that everyone ordinarily resident in the country gets care and doesn't get billed (I say ordinarily resident because if you live outside the UK, you are billed like in other countries - usually the way to prove you are ordinarily resident is to produce your National Insurance number).

In countries like the US, how I understand it is that the person who uses the service is responsible for the bills. However, for those who work, they may take up their workplaces' health insurance plan, who will pay for certain services, or they may take up their own health insurance themselves. Unfortunately, this means if you don't have any health insurance you have to pay it out of your own pocket.

#26 Clirion

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 15:20

You seriously do have issues, you are pretty much ignoring what jamem1 is saying..

Everyone knows the UK health care is NOT free, but it is a forced, small payment required by all tax payers.. we don't get hit with any bills for things like ambulance services... if you can't afford it or are unemployed therefore paying NOTHING (ZERO, NADA..) you STILL receive the health care you require.

I knew the health sector was private in the US but i'm deeply shocked that you receive bills for calling the ambulance service, this must be really hard for poor families in emergencies.

Our health service isn't perfect but it's good to know we can receive treatment and not worry about bills.


A bill is always produced. Normally it goes to insurance. If one does not have insurance, it goes to medicare/medicaid.
However, in this instance, it went to the family. No idea why.

#27 psionicinversion

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 15:41

in the UK it is "free" in the sense cus we pay national insurance which is mandatory but its also at the cost of putting the NHS billions and billions in debt. when we pay for medicine at the pharmacy the cost is about £8 per prescription whether the medicine costs them 20pence or £300 its still £8. The biggest drain on health insurance is fat ppl (no offense) its just the case through heart related stuff, diabetes all that; same as in US. Also another strain is because people are living longer, need care for longer, replacements parts like hip joints etc help towards bills in care homes. all draining. Im 30 and my generation might not see a state pension by the time we retire cus there wont be any money to pay it.

Wasnt Obama care supposed to provide free health care in certain situations or something? It wont work cus america is to large as a country and in terms of ppl in the country. It would bankrupt the US if it went free.

Dont mean to sound harsh but its the facts, downfalls of a consumer society. and the bill from the ambulance, poor show

#28 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 15:59

Wasnt Obama care supposed to provide free health care in certain situations or something? It wont work cus america is to large as a country and in terms of ppl in the country. It would bankrupt the US if it went free.


Obamacare had nothing to do with healthcare. It was a health insurance bill. The only mention of health care was health care providers are expected to charge less and eat the bill with poor insurance coverage, which translates to everyone else has to pick up the slack. That is why healthcare costs are rising so fast. Everyone who has health insurance is instantly thrown into the category of rich and taxed more and charged more for the healthcare they get, all the while the bar lowered for what health insurance companies have to pay.

#29 Richteralan

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 16:20

Looks cheap until you use some common sense. Of course, that would require you to stop trolling.

  • 2 trained ER's, 1 Driver possibly trained in ER: At $40 an hour, which is more than they get paid, with an average time of 11 minutes to respond, without giving any service, $22 dollars total.
  • Phone system: less than 60 cents. That is including the cost of the operator which gets paid close to minimum wage.
  • There are no medical insurance costs because no treatment was given. (He was already dead. Had you read the post and not been trolling, you would have known that.
  • The most expensive ambulance's in the US cost $133,000, and they are in New York. On average, the cost is around $85,000. With a 10 year life span, the per minute cost is about 11 cents. So that means, for a $133,000 ambulance, which these are not, $1.21.
So far we are up to $23.81. No medical equipment was used, gas cost would have been less than a dollar. Maintenance from that trip would be just as small. At worst, the cost of that ambulance is less $30-$40 for an 11 minute response time.

To me you sound like the kind of people live in unincorporated area and refuse to pay firestation service and will bitch about it when firemen look at your house get burned down.

#30 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 16:24

To me you sound like the kind of people live in unincorporated area and refuse to pay firestation service and will bitch about it when firemen look at your house get burned down.

Except that I live in a city of 100,000 where the ambulance costs $120 base price. Still overcharged but way less than $700 like in this story and you only get charged that if they actually do something, which they didn't in this story. $700 is unreasonable for what we provided, which is nothing. Firefighters get paid from property taxes here so not sure what your point with that is. If anything you are just proving my point with that. A $700+ for providing no service. In unincorporated areas, if you don't pay the fire station service, your house burns down. In this story, the ambulance service let a man die and charged for it.