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  #1  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:27 PM
Assuming facts not in evidence Assuming facts not in evidence is offline
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Do I have to pay an ambulance bill if it was called by police?

I didn't call the ambulance, I didn't agree to pay anything, I never signed anything. They drove me 1 mile. They sent me a bill for 900+ dollars. If anyone had said I would owe 900+ for that I would have fainted, and wouldn't have gone. I had a broken bone but could be driven in a car or taxi, I had no other problems and nobody asked if I had other problems until after I was loaded in.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:32 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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My guess is that they will not pursue it if you tell them you do not agree with it and you do not have the means to pay anyway.
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Old 04-17-2003, 08:32 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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You got in the ambulance, you consented to treatment, you have to pay. Failure to anticipate the charges is generally not an excuse. If you don't pay, they'll probably pass it on to a collection agency, who will screw up your credit record. I did much the same thing over a bill dispute; it didn't stop me from buying a house.
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Old 04-17-2003, 08:34 PM
Buck The Diver Buck The Diver is offline
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Perhaps a bit more detail would help. Auto accident? Bike wreck? Dirigible crashed?
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2003, 09:34 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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LOS ANGELES COUNTY GENERAL PUBLIC AMBULANCE RATES
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2003, 10:07 PM
aeropl aeropl is offline
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My grandfather recently broke his ankle on the street somehow. Once the ambulance got there, they asked him if he wanted to take the ambulance to the hospital for about $600, or get a taxi for $10. He chose the taxi. If you were conscious, did they ask you if you wanted to take the ambulance? From my experience, I assume they normally ask you first if it's not a dire emergency.
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Old 04-17-2003, 11:10 PM
Blown & Injected Blown & Injected is offline
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I thought this was a County/local service type thing that was covered by our local taxes.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2003, 11:32 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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In the OP he said, he didn't call the ambulance (the police called for him) and he didn't agree to pay anything. Other questions would be, who called the police? Bystander, they saw the accident, you? Also where did it happen, and what was broken. If you fell off your bike and broke your arm or wrist and a passerby called 911 it would be one thing. But if you were at home and fell off your roof and managed to call 911 yourself I'd imagine it would be different. Also do you have health insurance, and will they cover and portion of it?
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2003, 12:18 AM
Triss Triss is offline
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I have nothing factual to add, except that looking at that rate sheet just about gave me a heart attack.

Obviously, things are a lot different in Canada but that seems ridiculous. The two times I have had to pay for ambulance service it cost 45 bucks a shot.

Sheesh.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2003, 01:07 AM
The Mad Hermit The Mad Hermit is offline
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I had a similar problem, without the money to pay. The hospital had a charity in place to help people without health insurance; call the hospital office and apply.

If you can't afford it otherwise, make small payments until you pay it off. You can often avoid the unpleasantness of collection agency calls if you work with the hospital.

Good luck straightening this out.
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  #11  
Old 04-18-2003, 12:52 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nametag
You got in the ambulance, you consented to treatment, you have to pay. Failure to anticipate the charges is generally not an excuse.
But... I've seen the cops call for an ambulance when the "patient" did not want one and then threaten to take him to jail if he refused to go with the ambulance. (I think they were just blowin' smoke to try to "convince" the guy.)

If a cop called the ambulance and demanded that I get in, I certainly wouldn't be arguing, but I'd sure as hell dispute the bill if I got one.
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  #12  
Old 04-18-2003, 01:24 PM
St. Urho St. Urho is offline
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Couple of things. First of all, it doesn't matter who calls. We've had calls where someone from out-of-town or out-of-state, even has called in for a welfare check. What matters is that you consented to treatment and transport.

Blown & Injected, there are some places where ambulance service is fully supported by muicipalities. I know of one in rural Wisconsin, and that's the only one.

Eats Crayons Laws vary in different states (and countries). Here in Minnesota the police can place someone on a 72-hour hold for medical reasons. It usually only happens in behavioral/psychiatric emergencies. My understanding is that you are just as liable for the costs as if you had given your consent.

In general EMS treatment is expensive, just like any other type of medical care. My understanding is also that ambulance rates are expensive to help offset the costs of people who can't pay for their treatment. EMS is obligated to treat and transport anyone who requests it regardless of their ability to pay.

Scott, I'm curious what exactly they billed you for that it came to $900. I would expect to see costs of:

BLS treatment/transport: $366.50
(Possibly) Code 3 response: $85.75
Mileage: $12.25
Ice Packs: $18
O2 & supplies: $40(?)
For a total of $522.50

If you ended up with an ALS rig, that's be about another $200. I don't want to second guess the guys on scene about care, but if it was an uncomplicated broken bone, that's about what I'd expect to see.

By the way, short answer- yes, you are obligated to pay.

St. Urho
EMT-B
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2003, 01:48 PM
InquisitiveIdiot InquisitiveIdiot is offline
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Quote:
Obviously, things are a lot different in Canada but that seems ridiculous. The two times I have had to pay for ambulance service it cost 45 bucks a shot.
Do they have malpractice lawsuits in Canada? Helps bump up the price a bit.
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