Ambulances Stick Patients With Surprise Bills - NBC10 Boston
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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. 

    Colorado Man Charged With Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    [NATL] Colorado Man Charged With Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    Christopher Lee Watts was charged with five counts of murder Monday for the deaths of his wife Shanann Watts and their two daughters Bella and Celeste. Watts had initially pleaded publicly that his wife and daughters had gone missing. Their bodies were discovered on the property of the oil and natural gas company Watts worked for. The D.A. said that it's "too early" to discuss whether prosecutors would seek the death penalty.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 20, 2018)