Ambulances Stick Patients With Surprise Bills - NBC Connecticut

Ambulances Stick Patients With Surprise Bills

Patients are often vulnerable because 911 dispatchers pick the ambulance crews, which then pick the hospitals

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Air Ambulances: Taking Patients for a Ride

    A Consumer Reports investigation reveals a spike in patient complaints showing thousands of dollars in surprise ambulance bills. (Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017)

    Public outrage over surprise medical bills has prompted some states to pass laws protecting consumers. But such laws largely ignore ground ambulance rides, which can leave patients with up to thousands owed in medical bills and few options for recourse, according to a Kaiser Health News review of hundreds of consumer complaints in 32 states.

    Patients are often vulnerable because 911 dispatchers pick the ambulance crews, which then pick the hospitals. The sticker shock comes after patients are taken to hospitals out of their insurance network or when the ambulance service itself hasn't joined an insurance network.

    Forty years ago most ambulances were free. Now many are run by private companies and venture capital firms.

    According to the advocacy group Consumers Union, at least a quarter of their 700 patient reports about surprise medical bills involve ambulances. 

    Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    [NATL] Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    A would-be robber armed with a knife had a surprise in store when an Alabama store clerk pulled out a machete in defense. The two's brief knife fight was caught on camera before the clerk runs out to damage the robber's car.

    According to police, suspect Seth Holcomb walked up to the counter to make a purchase. He leaves the store and then comes back in as if to make a second purchase. Then, he pulled out a knife at the counter. What he didn't expect was that the clerk would pull out a machete of his own.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)