Who pays for the ride?

Full story: Lowell Sun

The problem, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield, was obvious. A Lowell-based ambulance company charged $4,415 for a ride from Lowell General Hospital to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

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Hmmm

Chelmsford, MA

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#21
Oct 16, 2010
 
Peeved wrote:
I had to call an ambulance recently for my teenage daughter. The ride from N. Chelmsford to Lowell General (a couple of miles) cost me $1,400 because of a $2,000 deductible. Would they negotiate and let me pay what they would have billed my insurance? NO. SCAM
Did your daughter really even need an ambulance? Let's get real. It's an ambulance not a taxi. Obviously the price would be a bit more.
Sick of them

Chelmsford, MA

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#22
Oct 16, 2010
 
I've come to hate doing 911 shifts based on troubling citizens. During a transport you check the patients chart and jot down all their info including insurance. When you're doing a 911 shift you have to ask the golden question. Do you have your insurance numbers? And you get a common response from the patient, "I'm dying here and you're concerned about my insurance?". No sir/mam you're not dying you have a stubbed toe, and if i don't have your insurance info you get the bill. Or the more infamous "I'm not signing anything!" Well if you don't sign your name insurance won't pay for it and if you're in perfect health, which you probably are, I'm not signing for you. People need to grow up. And remember to pullover when there is an ambulance behind you.
Interested Observer

Concord, MA

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#23
Oct 16, 2010
 
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
We have one of those $2,000 deductible policies. Made a shopper out of me. Wife needed a blood test, BMP, basic metabolic panel.
Call LGH to see how much it would cost. I was told not to worry, they would collect $60 at test time and bill me for the rest. I said, that's nice but I want to know what it's going to cost me, I have to pay for it. After more persuading she looked it up for me and said it was going to cost me $120. There's a place on Rogers St in Lowell call LabCorp. They do blood testing so I called them.
I asked how much. The woman told me it was $65 if I went through the insurance and $32 if I didn't. I said I be right over. I paid the $32. It was $88 cheaper than the hospital and I'm sure LabCorp made a nice profit.
can't do this with an ambulance--you aren't going to shop for price. Someone needs to negotiate the price.
Why

Haverhill, MA

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#24
Oct 16, 2010
 
Shameful and inhumain. These are the causes for robberies and endangerment to americans. It's not our drug dealers, not our terrorist, it's us! This country will cause it's own demise. I'm embarrassed to live here and don't understand how Anyone can die for this country. We deserve whats coming.
Shame

Chelmsford, MA

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#25
Oct 16, 2010
 
Are you saying ambulance companies make people pay for their treatment and transports? Not that! Get real Lowellites. It's time to act our age here.$4400 for a transport probably means it was 2 Paramedics doing a vent job. A critical care transport where that patients heart may stop beating at the simplest bump in the road. I would love to see your face if you ever get med flighted into Boston. How does $24,000 sound?
Please

Lowell, MA

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#26
Oct 17, 2010
 
lowell girl wrote:
So this is what Tom Golden has been up to all these years. I've been asking for so long...
Its obvious -- you don't know the man or the issue.

If you lived in his district you would know that he does an awful lot of people.
If Blue Cross and Blue Shield are in favor of something ---- I am against it --- sounds like they are trying to pass the buck to the cities and towns or the individuals.---
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

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#27
Oct 17, 2010
 
Interested Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
can't do this with an ambulance--you aren't going to shop for price. Someone needs to negotiate the price.
I would tell my wife to drive me, I'd do the same for her. Tired of being ripped off. I shop for blood tests and meds. Save plenty every year. I pay insurance premiums and basically get nothing for the money. If one of us were to become ill and the insurance kicked in we have to cross all the T's and dot all of the I's or the won't pay. Medical insurance is the biggest rip-off in the state. Worse than used cars and eyeglasses.
Devils advocate

Charlton, MA

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#28
Oct 17, 2010
 
Well said
Ambulance Exec Responds wrote:
Folks,
As an ambulance industry leader let me explain.... this legislation would simply mandate that BCBS send the payment check directly to the ambulance provider (either municipally owner or privately owned) ; nothing more.... it will not cost BCBS any more, nor would it cost them anything less;
BCBS could still negotiate with ambulance companies to receive better rates....
Now, lets be honest...... if you received the $4400 check for the ambulance ride..... which by the way, was probably for a very critically ill patient who required a much higher level of care;
My guess... The patient was probably transported on a ventilator which costs $15,000; cardiac monitor that cost $30,000; IV pump that cost $4,000; and in an ambulance that cost $100,000; and $10,000 per year for auto and liability insurance..... plus the payroll, benefits,$3.00 per gallon for diesel, etc, etc..
So the real question is..... if you are out of work and behind on your bills; would you really deposit the $4400 check in your bank account and then write the exact same check to the ambulance provider when his bill arrives???
The answer is "no.... nor would I" !!!
Why.... because, its over, the transport is over, I'm alive and well, I'll never need the ambulance again... and even if I do; they have to come and transport me by law; They can't leave me on the street..... they cant say no!
More importantly... they don't ask for my insurance information until they let me off at the hospital.... they can't then put me back on the stretcher and bring me back to the scene of the accident....
Hey ambulance company... Thanks for the ride, you save my life... now I have to pay my Visa bill this month; don't worry; when I get a new job, I'll pay you $5 per week.... I'll have the $4400 bill paid off in 880 weeks, which is a little more than 11 years!!
But, I hope your still in business for the next person who needs your service....
By the way, Thanks Govornor Patrick for watching out for us "joe citizens"
Your a real company man...
Any by the way.... BCBS executives donated almost $32,000 to Deval Patrick on June 10th; look it up on the web; I guess we came up short!
Interested Observer

Concord, MA

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#29
Oct 17, 2010
 
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
I would tell my wife to drive me, I'd do the same for her. Tired of being ripped off. I shop for blood tests and meds. Save plenty every year. I pay insurance premiums and basically get nothing for the money. If one of us were to become ill and the insurance kicked in we have to cross all the T's and dot all of the I's or the won't pay. Medical insurance is the biggest rip-off in the state. Worse than used cars and eyeglasses.
You get so silly in your hatreds. I have had more interaction with my health insuror than you will likely ever have and have always found them to be responsive. They process tens of millions of claims with no issue But then I don't mind paying the share I agreed to when I accepted the policy and I don't expect free care. I didn't pay for that in my policy.

Your childish "I'll drive my wife and she me to the hospital" is just amazingly petty and not very convincing. You don't really think in an emergency your wife will be able to carry you to the car and put you in it. You might have a broken leg or had a stroke or heart attack. At that time--after you have had a heart attack, do you expect your wife to negotiate the ambulance price, or will you be glad that the health insuror is paying for it? Without some kind of control, how much do you think the ambulance will charge?$40 for an aspirin they give you? Grow up--let your mind and not your petty hate guide your thoughts.
fruit of the loom

Westford, MA

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#30
Oct 17, 2010
 
Ambulance Exec Responds wrote:
Folks,
As an ambulance industry leader let me explain.... this legislation would simply mandate that BCBS send the payment check directly to the ambulance provider (either municipally owner or privately owned) ; nothing more.... it will not cost BCBS any more, nor would it cost them anything less;
BCBS could still negotiate with ambulance companies to receive better rates....
Now, lets be honest...... if you received the $4400 check for the ambulance ride..... which by the way, was probably for a very critically ill patient who required a much higher level of care;
My guess... The patient was probably transported on a ventilator which costs $15,000; cardiac monitor that cost $30,000; IV pump that cost $4,000; and in an ambulance that cost $100,000; and $10,000 per year for auto and liability insurance..... plus the payroll, benefits,$3.00 per gallon for diesel, etc, etc..
So the real question is..... if you are out of work and behind on your bills; would you really deposit the $4400 check in your bank account and then write the exact same check to the ambulance provider when his bill arrives???
The answer is "no.... nor would I" !!!
Why.... because, its over, the transport is over, I'm alive and well, I'll never need the ambulance again... and even if I do; they have to come and transport me by law; They can't leave me on the street..... they cant say no!
More importantly... they don't ask for my insurance information until they let me off at the hospital.... they can't then put me back on the stretcher and bring me back to the scene of the accident....
Hey ambulance company... Thanks for the ride, you save my life... now I have to pay my Visa bill this month; don't worry; when I get a new job, I'll pay you $5 per week.... I'll have the $4400 bill paid off in 880 weeks, which is a little more than 11 years!!
But, I hope your still in business for the next person who needs your service....
By the way, Thanks Govornor Patrick for watching out for us "joe citizens"
Your a real company man...
Any by the way.... BCBS executives donated almost $32,000 to Deval Patrick on June 10th; look it up on the web; I guess we came up short!
Now thats a lot of hot air.if the average person was paying the bill it would be half of what an insurer pays its the way the companys bill claims
Simple Question

Weymouth, MA

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#31
Oct 18, 2010
 
If this patient was being tranferred from one hospital to another hospital, why couldn't an ambulance that has an agreement with BCBS be called for the transport?

I would be interested in seeing if this change being proposed by the insurance company is for ALL ambulance calls or just the non-911 calls.
call me crazy

Washington, DC

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#32
Oct 18, 2010
 
I suspect the reason Blue Cross is claiming that it would cost them money, is that the patient would not turn the bill over until after they receive it most likely after having been released from the hospital and rehabilitation care. Blue Cross would then deny the claim, but that if the client felt this was wrong, the claim could be resubmitted. This would allow Blue Cross to hold onto the cost of the claim for 6 to 24 months. If they needed to pay a regular business partner within 30 or 60 days, it would cost them more money than waiting to reimburse a patient --who in the mean time is acruing interest charges on their credit cards or payment plan with the service provider. Blue cross would then have their anti-fraud group send you a letter and call monthly for 3 years after you submitted the claim, to see if you had indeed received ambulance transport. You will also receive separate inquires regarding emergency room treatment, and hospitalization.
Really

Groton, MA

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#33
Oct 20, 2010
 
Andy wrote:
And who pays for the aliens,legal,and illegal? How about the homeless?
And....the flight life helicopters?
Call a cab
You
Ridiculous

Exeter, NH

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#34
Oct 27, 2010
 
Ambulance companies are scared because now instead of getting the revenues in from insurance companies, they will have to pursue the patient directly. This proves to be more costly and will result in claims court cases up the waazoo. Plus, with Trinity charging the highest rates around, that is less bribe money to get out of trouble with....Then what will they do?!
Lowellemt

Haverhill, MA

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#35
Aug 22, 2012
 
Sounds like what they call a special care transport- probably a vented patient, multiple medication infusions (possibly including blood), a cardiac monitor, and god who knows what else. A nurse, md, or respiratory therapist may also have been in the ambulance with the paramedics, possibly a balloon pump in severe unstable cardiac cases, an isolette for premature infants, etc the list goes on and on. Think of this possibly being a medflight grade emergency transport when the helicopters are unavailable or not flying due to inclement weather. A helicopter to boston can cost what, 7 to 10 k?

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