Sunday, March 11, 2018

Call Uber

I was looking over some of my medical bills from when I got shot back in 2012. At the time, I lived four blocks from the nearest hospital where I was taken for stabilization. Despite the care I received there, I managed to survive long enough that they decided I'd probably live anyway.
But, (there's always a but...) I'd have to be moved to another, more updated  hospital for the surgery I'd need to repair what they could of my shoulder.
This second hospital was about seven miles from the original one I'd been taken to. So they loaded me into an ambulance and off we went.
That trip of seven miles and about 12 minutes cost me $1,600.00!

Now I admit I don't know what am ambulance, brand new and it of the box cost, but I'll be generous, and giving all the equipment and gear involved, I'm just gonna say 150,000. Which is 93.75X what the trip cost me. Let's include the wages of the two med techs. Say about an hour of their time X2, and give them $50.00 an hour (hey, I'm worth it!).o Another $100.00.
Gas. 3 bucks a gallon, and we'll say the ambulance gets a whopping 7mpg. There's 3 bucks right there.
So we come up to $150,103.00. Divided that by $1,600.00. Round up: 1/100th of the total cost of the ambulance, the entire pay for the techs, AND the cost of fuel paid for by the patient.
Not to mention the cost of the SECOND ambulance when you get the bill and have a heart attack...
Is this a great country or what?


Heroditus Huxley said...

My imp cost us $153,000 when he was born (thankfully, only about $6000 out of pocket)--he was 8 weeks early, and spent 5 weeks in the NICU. Talk about hair curling! That statement panicked me something fierce.

Dan said...

The reason your ambulance ride costs so much is for the most part the same reason ALL health care bills are ridiculously high. Someone has to pay for all the bums and illegals who NEVER pay. If you have insurance then your insurer negotiates a rate they agree to pay and you only have a copay etc. But if you have no insurance....or shitty insurance....then YOU are billed the highest amount possible because you aren't in a position to prenegotiate the rates you are willing to pay. The medical care America can provide is first rate. The way we are forced to pay for it is retarded. And you can lay a lot of the blame for this on Reagan and the GOP for passing EMTALA back in 1986.
EMTALA is the federal law that FORCES hospitals etc. to provide FREE CARE to anyone who can't pay for it. And since Heinlein was correct when he said TANSTAAFL someone must pay. And you are unfortunately one of those someones.

Anonymous said...

You are being WWWAAAAYYY too generous with that $50 per hour for EMT's. Try more like $12-16 per hour.
If it was a city run ambulance then you are paying for their retirement bennies....
If it's private run, then you are paying for the owners second home.


Anonymous said...

Dan; I wholeheartedly agree. I work in the medical industry. I work in the ER as a case manager; the first year I was there 30% of the folks had no insurance. Now after 3 years 50% of the folks have no insurance. BUT, as my liberal sister would wail, obumbler fixed that with obamacare! Er, no, he just made it more difficult for people to get insurance.
Now for the positive side.....check out MDsave. Its a company out of TN that works like Expedia or Kayak. You purchase a voucher for medical care. It's still a young company and they may not have negotiated rates with doctors in your area; but the concept is sound. Oh, and I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FROM THIS COMPANY!!!!!

Sail Man said...

I only make 13.50 as a medic. I'd love to be making half of that 50$ guesstimate lol