Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article profiling the high costs of ambulance rides. At one time a free service paid for by taxpayers or simply provided by volunteers, ambulance services are now largely privatized businesses that – like all privatized businesses – are in business to make profits. Because ambulance services operate as businesses, they have become a contributor to rising costs of medical care in America.
Regardless of who requests an ambulance – be they bystanders or 911 dispatchers – ambulance services nearly always charge patients for the costs of transportation and any medical care that may have been provided. For many who lack insurance coverage for this service, are self-pay patients, or are underinsured, these costs are not covered. In turn, expenses for ambulance rides can create serious financial burdens for victims and their loved ones.
When you also consider the extensive costs of medical care – in the emergency room, operating room, or anywhere else – added expenses can add insult to injury. They can also be tremendously overwhelming and financially devastating. Although costs can range drastically, some services charge fees well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Other problems with billing come from the various companies that run the services and the fact that many raise prices for patients who have insurance.
While it is difficult to calculate ambulance costs in regard to the national health care picture and patients' out-of-pocket expenses, Medicare officials have tabulated that costs for ambulances total roughly $6 billion a year. In 2002, it was $2 billion a year. These rising costs are alarming, and even more so when you consider that fact that Medicare caps prices for ambulance rides much lower than commercial rates.
Recovering Your Medical Expenses
When victims suffer damages as the result of another's negligence or wrongful act, they may have a right to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims can allow victims and families to recover compensation for any physical, emotional, and/or financial damages they suffered as a direct result of their injuries – including the costs of ambulance rides and medical care.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team understands that medical expenses create unnecessary burdens for injured victims and their loved ones. This is why our team works diligently to recover full and fair compensation on behalf of our clients. For more information about your right to recover your damages, request a free consultation with a Houston personal injury attorney by calling (888) 273-1045.