Most expensive ride in Fort Wayne?

Letter to the Editor in today’s Journal Gazette:

Medicare ambulance policy unfair to seniors
by Merritt Fogwell

[…] But as I found out recently when I had to pay nearly $1,000 for a 20-minute ambulance ride, there is a loophole in Medicare policy when it comes to ambulance service in Allen County.

[…] Here’s what happened to me: Several months back, I had a fainting spell on the job at General Mills, near limited-access Interstate 469. Management decided to call an ambulance to transport me to Lutheran Hospital. The Southwest Allen County Fire Station ambulance, which offers basic service, was the first to respond. When it was decided that an ALS ambulance was needed, TRAA was also called to the scene. The TRAA medic rode with me to the hospital in the fire station ambulance.

Medicare covered the majority of the cost of the ambulance ride in the fire station ambulance. But the TRAA medic who went along for the ride? That was not covered by Medicare, and it cost me $998.

[..] I had no choice in choosing the ambulance service. But I had to foot the entire bill of the second service. And to make matters worse, in the time it took for the second ambulance to arrive, I could have already been receiving treatment in the emergency room at Lutheran Hospital.

Good points, however, can you imagine having to pay the entire bill yourself without insurance, Medicare or other assistance?  $998 for someone to ride 20 minutes with you to the hospital?  I realize they probably had the expense of driving their Ambulance to the hospital to pick up this rider, but $998?

Added 10:30 pm – Eric pointed out to me that we don’t know if any medical supplies or drugs may have been administered and thus figured into the $998. The letter does makes it sound as if it was just for the tech to ride, but I would like to see the numbers. Still my point and what captured my attention is the thought of having to pay the $998 plus the other charge without insurance or assistance…


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