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(WISTV)   No money for a cab? Just call an Ambulance. Fark: Over 100 times in the last 7 yrs   (wistv.com) divider line 75
    More: Stupid, Dorchester County, taxiing, Greenville County  
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5383 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Apr 2013 at 1:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



75 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-04-25 11:47:39 PM  
fark that biatch.
 
2013-04-26 12:41:23 AM  
Flagrant abuse of emergency services?


24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-26 01:22:09 AM  
that ride starts at $750 where i live.
 
2013-04-26 01:25:08 AM  
Let's hope all future medical care is behind bars.
 
2013-04-26 01:28:03 AM  
So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.
 
2013-04-26 01:29:09 AM  
When I was an EMT (so just about 10 years ago), this wasn't exactly uncommon.

Though, not to the tune of 100 rides over 7 years. It was mostly old ladies who couldn't swing a ride to the hospital for a doctor's appointment or dialysis.
 
2013-04-26 01:29:55 AM  

KrispyKritter: that ride starts at $750 where i live.


Well hers were paid for by medicaid according to TFA. So your tax dollars paid for this shiat.
 
2013-04-26 01:30:13 AM  
Good for them for having her arrested.  I dealt with that crap a lot when I did EMS.  There were multiple times they had to call in an ambulance from a distant station for legitimate emergencies in our district because we were tied up transporting some homeless guy with a vague medical complaint who wanted a free ride/wanted to go some place with air conditioning/wanted to get out of the rain, etc.
 
2013-04-26 01:32:07 AM  
If she has been doing this for 7 years, she started in her early 40s. No win situation, taxpayer gets screwed either way. They should let her out and make her walk home.
 
2013-04-26 01:32:57 AM  

Dr. Nick Riviera: Good for them for having her arrested.  I dealt with that crap a lot when I did EMS.  There were multiple times they had to call in an ambulance from a distant station for legitimate emergencies in our district because we were tied up transporting some homeless guy with a vague medical complaint who wanted a free ride/wanted to go some place with air conditioning/wanted to get out of the rain, etc.


I'm surprised they had her arrested for it. Believe it or not, people actually white knight and encourage this behavior.
 
2013-04-26 01:33:24 AM  
It's $75.00 a ride here in Ontario, or at least it was year or so ago.
/yes, in a real ambulance
 
2013-04-26 01:34:20 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


You won't get left at home, but you might have to pay for the ride if it is deemed not medically necessary.  We already do this with Medicare.
 
2013-04-26 01:35:23 AM  
Hey! What kind of injury do you think I would have to fake to get a free helicopter ride?
 
2013-04-26 01:36:03 AM  

hardinparamedic: I'm surprised they had her arrested for it. Believe it or not, people actually white knight and encourage this behavior.



Huh? What possible justification could there be for outright fraud?
 
2013-04-26 01:42:14 AM  
$425 a pop times 100 rides is $40k, not 400k as cited in the article.
 
2013-04-26 01:44:44 AM  
Yeah, about 15 years ago, I got knocked out playing football with friends.  They helpfully called an amberlamps and the ride was 1800 dollars. Big bucks for a uninsured college freshman.  I could pay the hospital or the ambulance-mafia, apparently I choose poorly.after a year, they ambulance bastards turned it over to collection and I got the snot sued out of me.
Even now, with nice insurance, if I got injured and an ambulance shows up, I would deck anyone who tries to stuff me in it.  An assault charge and a free ride from the police would be infinitely cheaper.
100 times?
 
2013-04-26 01:46:19 AM  
"Wait... that was wrong?  Now I feel horrible.  Faint even...  OMG call 911!  Quickly!... I'm dying..."
 
2013-04-26 01:49:47 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


LOL! I feel like arguing so I'm gonna make something up and get all melodramatic! Derp-a derp-a doo! Obama's gonna implant a microchip in my tongue to sense if I eat bacon more than twice a week so he can deny me a whaaaambulance ride when I have my my-O-cardial in-FARK-shun! Derrrrrr!
 
2013-04-26 01:54:07 AM  

davidshi123: $425 a pop times 100 rides is $40k, not 400k as cited in the article.


Either way, take it out of her wallet.
 
2013-04-26 01:58:18 AM  
Soon medics saw a disturbing pattern and got suspicious.

encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com
 
2013-04-26 02:02:06 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


Did you just say "rationing ambulance service"?
I think they are supposed to be "rationed".  There is a fixed amount of the commodity.  Don't use it stupidly.  Rather, use it "rationally".  Or better yet, it should be used "conservatively".
 
2013-04-26 02:02:38 AM  
Jesus!  When I was in college, if we couldn't find a cab, we would just order pizza delivery from a nearby pizza place, then wait out front for the delivery driver to walk out and ask him if this was the pizza to [my address]?  Then we would slip him an extra $10 or so and hitch a ride home and get a pizza out of it.

/I thought everyone did this?
 
2013-04-26 02:05:24 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


Maybe you shouldn't be crying wolf
 
2013-04-26 02:05:50 AM  
mom?

srsly, she loves the attention. she's prone to "seizures". the funniest was when she pulled that sh*t outside of her preferred-hospital area and the ambulance was going to take her to another hospital that was more "black" than she would've preferred.

she perked right up in the back of the ambulance and the seizure ended.

/and before you jump down my throat and accuse me of being callous and heartless, these are attention-pleas. my brother is a doctor, my cousin (my mom's nephew) is a local fire-fighter/paramedic, and his ex-wife is a main nurse at my mom's preferred hospital. my cousin has responded to her 911 calls more than any other paramedic. he knows her history.
//she has more mental issues than medical issues.
 
2013-04-26 02:06:33 AM  
Disapproves...

img254.imageshack.us
 
2013-04-26 02:06:35 AM  

thorthor: Let's hope all future medical care is behind bars.


And cost the taxpayers more money?
 
2013-04-26 02:09:26 AM  

WhiskeyBoy: Jesus!  When I was in college, if we couldn't find a cab, we would just order pizza delivery from a nearby pizza place, then wait out front for the delivery driver to walk out and ask him if this was the pizza to [my address]?  Then we would slip him an extra $10 or so and hitch a ride home and get a pizza out of it.

/I thought everyone did this?


I never thought of doing that, but it's genius.
 
2013-04-26 02:11:37 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


Also it looks like you'll be left in jail instead of left at home, if this article is any indication.
 
2013-04-26 02:12:27 AM  

WhiskeyBoy: Jesus!  When I was in college, if we couldn't find a cab, we would just order pizza delivery from a nearby pizza place, then wait out front for the delivery driver to walk out and ask him if this was the pizza to [my address]?  Then we would slip him an extra $10 or so and hitch a ride home and get a pizza out of it.

/I thought everyone did this?


In most college towns, you didn't need a car for anything. Were you chasing after townies... ineffectively?
 
2013-04-26 02:13:09 AM  

davidshi123: $425 a pop times 100 rides is $40k, not 400k as cited in the article.


A ride in an ambulance will run your insurance company around $1000; depending on where you live. But, there are other costs that they are probably factoring in. The medics, maintenace, the dispatcher, the dispatching service/center, reallocating assets from other areas for real emergencies.

/ medical stuff always costs the moon
 
2013-04-26 02:13:42 AM  
Pretty typical behavior when people don't have to pay for anything.  There are a lot of frequent flyers at the ED's I've worked in... sometimes they come in because they want attention or get bored at home.  One lady came in by ambulance.... for a pregnancy test.  She was made to wait a good long while in the waiting room after it was learned what her reason for coming in really was (she originally said something about chest pain).  Oh, people...
 
2013-04-26 02:14:31 AM  
further degrading the fark headline
 
2013-04-26 02:20:59 AM  
We had a patient who would go out to the restaurant of her choice (or the bar of her choice) and when she had enough to eat or drink she would then have a pseudoseizure, someoene would call 911, ambulance shows up while she is putting on her act, and she would then get out of paying her bill. Once she was in the rig, any paramedic who didn't recognize her or pseudoseizures would give her a nice ativan buzz on the ride to the hospital where she would promptly refuse treatment.
 
2013-04-26 02:21:34 AM  

WhiskeyBoy: Jesus!  When I was in college, if we couldn't find a cab, we would just order pizza delivery from a nearby pizza place, then wait out front for the delivery driver to walk out and ask him if this was the pizza to [my address]?  Then we would slip him an extra $10 or so and hitch a ride home and get a pizza out of it.

/I thought everyone did this?


in a college town, that happens all the time.

late 90's, non-college town, my roommate and I would order pizza, ask to talk to the driver, and then ask the driver stop at a Walgreen's, liquor store, 7-11... to pick us up cigarettes, milk, bread, pop, chips...

now of course we reimbursed him and tipped him well enough to cover that hassle. and this was something that took years of being loyal customers and recognizing and being nice to the delivery guys.

if we were playing poker or having a party, we would invite the delivery guys to come back later after their shift and invite their coworkers.

they'd come back around 2am with a handful of waitresses ready to party.
/I don't think that would happen now.
 
2013-04-26 02:24:16 AM  
The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.
 
2013-04-26 02:26:55 AM  

calbert: mom?

srsly, she loves the attention. she's prone to "seizures". the funniest was when she pulled that sh*t outside of her preferred-hospital area and the ambulance was going to take her to another hospital that was more "black" than she would've preferred.

she perked right up in the back of the ambulance and the seizure ended.

/and before you jump down my throat and accuse me of being callous and heartless, these are attention-pleas. my brother is a doctor, my cousin (my mom's nephew) is a local fire-fighter/paramedic, and his ex-wife is a main nurse at my mom's preferred hospital. my cousin has responded to her 911 calls more than any other paramedic. he knows her history.
//she has more mental issues than medical issues.


Not to tell you your business, but.......You should probably call her more often, and or find someone to look after her permanently.

/ there are many programs out there for whily seniors. Toward the end of her life; my granny would have accidents. She'd get hurt, wake up in a hospital, not know where she was and attempt to head for the hills. She once got out of her hospital bed, dressed, packed and in the elevator; all with a half dollar sized hole in her left leg before the night nurse tracked her down.
 
2013-04-26 02:33:14 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-26 02:34:18 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


If anything, you should be left at home because of posts like this, not because you called.
 
2013-04-26 02:37:16 AM  

Walter Paisley: The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.


If you can ride the bus to cash your welfare check, you can ride the bus to work.
 
2013-04-26 02:44:33 AM  

detritus: Walter Paisley: The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.

If you can ride the bus to cash your welfare check, you can ride the bus to work.


So disabled people must walk?
 
2013-04-26 02:58:11 AM  

Walter Paisley: detritus: Walter Paisley: The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.

If you can ride the bus to cash your welfare check, you can ride the bus to work.

So disabled people must walk?


You missed the Al Capp reference.
 
2013-04-26 03:17:43 AM  

Walter Paisley: The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.


I'm cool with free public transport for people with disabilities but here the short buses basically run a free taxi service for seniors. It's pretty farked up, but they do control the local government.
 
2013-04-26 03:19:16 AM  

Dr. Nick Riviera: I dealt with that crap a lot when I did EMS.


It's scary to think about an EMT who calls himself Dr. Nick Riviera...

/never called 911
 
2013-04-26 03:38:05 AM  

Oldiron_79: KrispyKritter: that ride starts at $750 where i live.

Well hers were paid for by medicaid according to TFA. So your tax dollars paid for this shiat.


In other words, it was economic stimulus. All government spending stimulates the economy.

Signed,

Paul Krugman
 
2013-04-26 03:59:30 AM  
Wonder how many miles she racked up over the years.

The record for the longest ambulance ride with a patient is 3,269 km (2,031 miles) achieved by Ambulix® Fire & Rescue (DK) with a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 312 Diesel ambulance from Lisbon (PT) to Copenhagen (DK) between 14 October 2004 and 16 Oct 2004.
 
2013-04-26 04:03:13 AM  

drgloryboy: We had a patient who would go out to the restaurant of her choice (or the bar of her choice) and when she had enough to eat or drink she would then have a pseudoseizure, someoene would call 911, ambulance shows up while she is putting on her act, and she would then get out of paying her bill. Once she was in the rig, any paramedic who didn't recognize her or pseudoseizures would give her a nice ativan buzz on the ride to the hospital where she would promptly refuse treatment.


CSB:

I had a guy pull this years ago - it was in a Waffle House that just happened to be next to a police station.

We (the ambulance crew) knew the guy was faking - he was lying on the floor, cracking his eyes open just enough so he could see what was going on.

The waitress is describing what happened ("he fell onto the floor and just started shaking") to us and the cops when one officer asked, "Did he pay his bill?"

"No."

"How much was it?"

The waitress found his bill - "$14.50"...that's a LOT of food at a Waffle House, at least it was in the mid 90s.

The officer said, "Hold on," flipped the guy over onto his stomach, pulled his wallet out, found a $20, gave it to the waitress, and said, "Keep the change."

I still had to take the guy to the hospital, but DAMN, that dude was PISSED.  It was awesome!

/CSB
 
2013-04-26 04:04:47 AM  
Always knew when the new Medicaid cards were mailed. We would get an increase in calls for the first few weeks for BS medical reasons. two of the best calls was a woman who called 911 to complain of leg pain. We arrive and she comes walking down her driveway with a suitcase. She said she has a procedure scheduled for later on and needed a ride to the hospital. PD was called on that one. The other was a general medical way on the other side of the county. When we got there, the "patient" came walking out dressed up fort a night of clubbing in town. Told her since we were on the southern edge of the county, i had to transport to the local hospital in Eufaula. She argued i that i had to take her to a "horsepital" that she wanted to go to. Non-emergency, receiving ER is my discretion, and we left her standing in her driveway

/10yr Paramedic
 
2013-04-26 04:09:12 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.


I have 'free' medical care.

They don't really ration it though.  They just get around to you when they can.  It's incredibly common to wait months to get a simple, routine thing sorted out.  And even though you are still a paying customer (your taxes after all, I mean, assuming you work) you are so far removed from paying that the staff really just doesn't care.  I showed up to my appointment after waiting two months, then waited FOUR HOURS in the waiting room....'Sorry, we're a little backed up today' is all the said.

Since it's 'free' I couldn't do anything.  If I leave, I can't just go somewhere else.  I need to be referred, prioritized by medical need, and assigned a place in a queue.  If I walk out after waiting THREE HOURS, I can't come back tomorrow.  Now, I have to start over again.  It could be another month or two.

And, since it's 'free' I don't even get to schedule a time.  No, they contact me, via post/letter, and tell me when and where it is.  I don't have a car....but I need to go to the hospital on the other side of town?  Too bad.  I can spend 40 minutes on the phone trying to get my location changed, but even that will add another 1-2 weeks as the NEW hospital will need to send out a letter after scheduling me into their queue.

Yay!  Free health care!
 
2013-04-26 04:11:11 AM  

bigbabysurfer: drgloryboy: We had a patient who would go out to the restaurant of her choice (or the bar of her choice) and when she had enough to eat or drink she would then have a pseudoseizure, someoene would call 911, ambulance shows up while she is putting on her act, and she would then get out of paying her bill. Once she was in the rig, any paramedic who didn't recognize her or pseudoseizures would give her a nice ativan buzz on the ride to the hospital where she would promptly refuse treatment.

CSB:

I had a guy pull this years ago - it was in a Waffle House that just happened to be next to a police station.

We (the ambulance crew) knew the guy was faking - he was lying on the floor, cracking his eyes open just enough so he could see what was going on.

The waitress is describing what happened ("he fell onto the floor and just started shaking") to us and the cops when one officer asked, "Did he pay his bill?"

"No."

"How much was it?"

The waitress found his bill - "$14.50"...that's a LOT of food at a Waffle House, at least it was in the mid 90s.

The officer said, "Hold on," flipped the guy over onto his stomach, pulled his wallet out, found a $20, gave it to the waitress, and said, "Keep the change."

I still had to take the guy to the hospital, but DAMN, that dude was PISSED.  It was awesome!

/CSB


Have a similar story......
Called to the local strip joint for a seizure. Arrived to find a dancer in the bathroom on the floor doing her best seizure impression. I just watched her for a few minutes, noticed her regular breathing rate and the occasional eye opening to see if we were watching. When she stopped, i checked her pulse,it was in the normal range, and i told her if she pissed herself i might just believe her. She sat up and and flipped me off
 
2013-04-26 04:37:10 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: They don't really ration it though. They just get around to you when they can. It's incredibly common to wait months to get a simple, routine thing sorted out. And even though you are still a paying customer (your taxes after all, I mean, assuming you work) you are so far removed from paying that the staff really just doesn't care. I showed up to my appointment after waiting two months, then waited FOUR HOURS in the waiting room....'Sorry, we're a little backed up today' is all the said.


Oh you poor dear.
 
2013-04-26 04:46:41 AM  

Relatively Obscure: Fark_Guy_Rob: They don't really ration it though. They just get around to you when they can. It's incredibly common to wait months to get a simple, routine thing sorted out. And even though you are still a paying customer (your taxes after all, I mean, assuming you work) you are so far removed from paying that the staff really just doesn't care. I showed up to my appointment after waiting two months, then waited FOUR HOURS in the waiting room....'Sorry, we're a little backed up today' is all the said.

Oh you poor dear.


It's not about the severity of suffering....it's about the relative level of quality and service.  Private medical centers aren't run that way; with the possible exception of an emergency room (and that's already iffy since a lot of people using the ER aren't going to pay for it either).  In the US - I could schedule an appointment, with a specialist in 2-3 days, pay a $30 copay, show up, wait five minutes, and be done.  With free health care in the EU - I can schedule an appointment with a GP, pay 40 euro (~50 USD) be told to try X and come back, come back in two weeks, get a referral to a specialist, wait for the letter, have no say in which hospital I'm assigned or which doctor I'll see.  I'll have to cancel the entire day from work (a luxury not everyone can afford), take public transportation (if available, and it's not cheap) or hire a taxi (even more expensive), and spend several hours in the waiting room because they don't care enough to schedule patients appropriately.
 
2013-04-26 05:19:01 AM  
Mugshot! Is she white?
 
2013-04-26 05:39:33 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: In the US - I could schedule an appointment, with a specialist in 2-3 days, pay a $30 copay, show up, wait five minutes, and be done.


I think, perhaps, you have an overly romanticized view of US healthcare.

I've only been referred to specialists on a few occasions, but I've never been able to get an appointment within 2-3 days of the referral.  It's always been at least a month.  Usually more.  And, even when I get to the office, the process has never been quick or easy.

When I've had to deal with socialized medicine, my experience has been very positive.  I have to say, having experienced both, that I prefer the socialized system to the US model.  And, I'm not alone: in the US, Medicare (socialized medicine) users give their healthcare higher marks than young people using the private market:  Older Americans enrolled in Medicare health plans have better access to care and are less likely to have problems paying their medical bills than people who insure themselves or receive coverage through their employers, according to a new study...Although only 8 percent of people with Medicare rated their insurance as fair or poor, 20 percent of adults covered by an employer-sponsored plan and 33 percent of those who purchase their own insurance reported dissatisfaction with their coverage.
 
2013-04-26 05:43:05 AM  

weirdneighbour: It's $75.00 a ride here in Ontario, or at least it was year or so ago.
/yes, in a real ambulance


Mine was only $45. All kinds of firefighters and paramedics,  Yay, insurance!
 
2013-04-26 06:51:08 AM  
Ferguson apparently never even went into the hospital to get treated.

When you come in on an ambulance can you just hop out and walk away? I would think you'd have go in and get checked out just for liability.
 
2013-04-26 07:13:21 AM  
FTFA: "Officials say what Medicaid doesn't pay, taxpayers will have foot the rest of the bill "

What's wrong with this sentence?
 
2013-04-26 07:42:01 AM  

Green Scorpio: FTFA: "Officials say what Medicaid doesn't pay, taxpayers will have foot the rest of the bill "

What's wrong with this sentence?


Because if she didn't have money for a cab you can't get blood out of a turnip?
 
2013-04-26 07:44:00 AM  
A few years ago, we had a lot of homeless folks taking the "Ambulance Taxi" - until the cops started showing up and arresting a few of them. Criminal fraud charges, mostly. Just having the cops show up at the emergency room and check for warrants was enough.

Word got around really fast.
 
2013-04-26 07:52:23 AM  

abhorrent1: Ferguson apparently never even went into the hospital to get treated.

When you come in on an ambulance can you just hop out and walk away? I would think you'd have go in and get checked out just for liability.


Nope, if I transport an alert and oriented adult says "stop here and let me out" there is nothing I can do about it (within limits for patient safety, I'm not letting them out on the highway).

One of the problems is that if I'm dispatched by 911, and the patient says they want to be transported, there is no mechanism for me to say no.  I MUST transport them.  I've been called for a "laceration" which was trivial self inflicted wound by a drug seeker.  The patient got a Hello Kitty bandaid, a 15 minute ride, an ALS workup and a $1k bill.
 
2013-04-26 08:12:49 AM  
When I worked for the county, we had this a lot.  The EMTs said that several times, they would transport someone to the County hospital and once the person was inside, they would jump off of the gurney and walk out of the hospital.  One of the fire captains told a couple of "frequent flyers" that the county was going to start deducting $50 for each ambulance ride out of their welfare checks.  The two women stopped calling for rides, but the captain got in trouble for telling them that.
 
2013-04-26 08:22:33 AM  

Dr. Nick Riviera: Good for them for having her arrested.  I dealt with that crap a lot when I did EMS.  There were multiple times they had to call in an ambulance from a distant station for legitimate emergencies in our district because we were tied up transporting some homeless guy with a vague medical complaint who wanted a free ride/wanted to go some place with air conditioning/wanted to get out of the rain, etc.


My first job was at a hospital. We had a mental patient (note: this facility did not have a psych ward) who rode the ambulance to the ER every day that a certain young lady was working the front desk. She was a full time employee, so pretty much 5x a week, every week, unless he was busy doing something else like being incarcerated or confined someplace that did have a mental health ward. He was Medicare and Medicaid, so your tax dollars at work. Of course, the ER staff had to make certain he was not actually having a true health problem each time, so he would be checked out and then sent home . . . on the ambulance.
 
2013-04-26 08:24:21 AM  
Old Man Winter

Yeah, about 15 years ago, I got knocked out playing football with friends. They helpfully called an amberlamps and the ride was 1800 dollars. Big bucks for a uninsured college freshman. I could pay the hospital or the ambulance-mafia, apparently I choose poorly.after a year, they ambulance bastards turned it over to collection and I got the snot sued out of me.
Even now, with nice insurance, if I got injured and an ambulance shows up, I would deck anyone who tries to stuff me in it. An assault charge and a free ride from the police would be infinitely cheaper.
100 times?


The wife was sitting with her idiot friends and got chest pains. So the idiots called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. I get a bill from O'Fallon Ambulance for $980. Total distance was 8.7 miles. I call them and give them my insurance information and figured that would be it. At the time, this was Insurance that I was paying almost $300 a week for. A few weeks later, I get an adjusted bill for $960. "Why, yes Mr. Freakstorm. Your insurance company paid $20. Now the remainder. Will that be cash, check, credit card or kidney?"
 
2013-04-26 09:36:08 AM  

Walter Paisley: detritus: Walter Paisley: The public transportation in the Charleston area may be different, but many cities have free bus passes for people on Medicaid or SSDI as well as shuttles that pick up people with disabilities from home.

If you can ride the bus to cash your welfare check, you can ride the bus to work.

So disabled people must walk?


Being disabled doesn't necessarily preclude one from being able to walk.  Governments, particularly in Western societies, need to do a better job managing resources.  They can't be all things to all people.
 
2013-04-26 09:39:55 AM  

eraser8: Fark_Guy_Rob: In the US - I could schedule an appointment, with a specialist in 2-3 days, pay a $30 copay, show up, wait five minutes, and be done.

I think, perhaps, you have an overly romanticized view of US healthcare.

I've only been referred to specialists on a few occasions, but I've never been able to get an appointment within 2-3 days of the referral.  It's always been at least a month.  Usually more.  And, even when I get to the office, the process has never been quick or easy.

When I've had to deal with socialized medicine, my experience has been very positive.  I have to say, having experienced both, that I prefer the socialized system to the US model.  And, I'm not alone: in the US, Medicare (socialized medicine) users give their healthcare higher marks than young people using the private market:  Older Americans enrolled in Medicare health plans have better access to care and are less likely to have problems paying their medical bills than people who insure themselves or receive coverage through their employers, according to a new study...Although only 8 percent of people with Medicare rated their insurance as fair or poor, 20 percent of adults covered by an employer-sponsored plan and 33 percent of those who purchase their own insurance reported dissatisfaction with their coverage.


My experience jibes more with Rob's.  I've never had trouble seeing whomever I needed to see and pretty much everyone I know.  Not being able to see a specialist is not a complaint I think I have heard before, but hey, most of my friends are pretty healthy.  Perhaps it is different for someone with a myriad of exotic health problems.
 
2013-04-26 10:27:33 AM  
Pumpernickel bread:
My experience jibes more with Rob's.  I've never had trouble seeing whomever I needed to see and pretty much everyone I know.  Not being able to see a specialist is not a complaint I think I have heard before, but hey, most of my friends are pretty healthy.  Perhaps it is different for someone with a myriad of exotic health problems.

What actually determines things like wait times is the availability of the specific resources that you need, not the payment model that is used. I've got a rare genetic neurological condition which there are very few doctors in my area qualified to treat (even most neurologists aren't qualified, outside of specialists at the teaching hospital). Because there is basically one guy that I can see, there is a significant wait time for appointments, and most are scheduled more than a year in advance.  This is in the U.S. It doesn't matter how much money your system spends, or how good your insurance is, if there just physically isn't enough of the medical resource you need. If you haven't had to deal with something like that, then frankly you've been lucky and are not qualified to discuss the failings of our healthcare system based on your personal experience.

Payment system is LINKED to availability of resources, in that if you pay more in one area you tend to get more people providing a service in that area. That's part of why the U.S. has a primary care doctor shortage and an over proliferation of specialists. And the fact that we spend twice what most countries do per capita on health care sometimes means we have more resources. The payment model is more about how the resources get divided up than about what resources there are. In socialist countries, care is mostly rationed based on priority of medical need. In the U.S., it's mostly on ability to pay. If we spent the same amount we currently spend on healthcare on a single payer system, we'd have the most resourced single payer system in the world. But we choose not to, mainly because most people think it's more important that they get seen immediately for their minor complaints than that some other people get seen at all for life-threatening problems. That selfish, entitled attitude is the root of the issues with the American health care system.
 
2013-04-26 11:10:30 AM  

DrPainMD: Oldiron_79: KrispyKritter: that ride starts at $750 where i live.

Well hers were paid for by medicaid according to TFA. So your tax dollars paid for this shiat.

In other words, it was economic stimulus. All government spending stimulates the economy.

Signed,

Paul Krugman


So it will trickle down?
 
2013-04-26 11:54:09 AM  

bigbabysurfer: drgloryboy: We had a patient who would go out to the restaurant of her choice (or the bar of her choice) and when she had enough to eat or drink she would then have a pseudoseizure, someoene would call 911, ambulance shows up while she is putting on her act, and she would then get out of paying her bill. Once she was in the rig, any paramedic who didn't recognize her or pseudoseizures would give her a nice ativan buzz on the ride to the hospital where she would promptly refuse treatment.

CSB:

I had a guy pull this years ago - it was in a Waffle House that just happened to be next to a police station.

We (the ambulance crew) knew the guy was faking - he was lying on the floor, cracking his eyes open just enough so he could see what was going on.

The waitress is describing what happened ("he fell onto the floor and just started shaking") to us and the cops when one officer asked, "Did he pay his bill?"

"No."

"How much was it?"

The waitress found his bill - "$14.50"...that's a LOT of food at a Waffle House, at least it was in the mid 90s.

The officer said, "Hold on," flipped the guy over onto his stomach, pulled his wallet out, found a $20, gave it to the waitress, and said, "Keep the change."

I still had to take the guy to the hospital, but DAMN, that dude was PISSED.  It was awesome!

/CSB


I was going to comment something else, but this is too wonderful not to go YEAH, baby
 
2013-04-26 02:36:54 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: AverageAmericanGuy: So when health care is universal and "free", we will be rationing ambulance service based on the judgment of some government bureaucrat? I'm not sure I'd be too happy about getting left at home because I called for an ambulance one too many times.

I have 'free' medical care.

They don't really ration it though.  They just get around to you when they can.  It's incredibly common to wait months to get a simple, routine thing sorted out.  And even though you are still a paying customer (your taxes after all, I mean, assuming you work) you are so far removed from paying that the staff really just doesn't care.  I showed up to my appointment after waiting two months, then waited FOUR HOURS in the waiting room....'Sorry, we're a little backed up today' is all the said.

Since it's 'free' I couldn't do anything.  If I leave, I can't just go somewhere else.  I need to be referred, prioritized by medical need, and assigned a place in a queue.  If I walk out after waiting THREE HOURS, I can't come back tomorrow.  Now, I have to start over again.  It could be another month or two.

And, since it's 'free' I don't even get to schedule a time.  No, they contact me, via post/letter, and tell me when and where it is.  I don't have a car....but I need to go to the hospital on the other side of town?  Too bad.  I can spend 40 minutes on the phone trying to get my location changed, but even that will add another 1-2 weeks as the NEW hospital will need to send out a letter after scheduling me into their queue.

Yay!  Free health care!


Wait months for an apointment, Check.
Wait hours in the waiting room, Check.
Pay out the nose, Check.
No treatment for non-life threatening issues after job loss, Check

Looks like we have it worse here in the US. A four hour wait is not unexpected at any hospital I've been too, rural or urban.
 
2013-04-26 03:39:04 PM  
A

life of the sausage party: Wait months for an apointment, Check.
Wait hours in the waiting room, Check.
Pay out the nose, Check.
No treatment for non-life threatening issues after job loss, Check

Looks like we have it worse here in the US. A four hour wait is not unexpected at any hospital I've been too, rural or urban.


In fact, they don't even have to FULLY treat you for life-threatening issues either, as long as you're healthy enough to get out of the hospital for the time being. All that is required of hospitals, regardless of ability to pay, is that they stabilize you if you come in for emergency treatment. After you're stable, they can and will kick your ass out on the street if you can't pay, especially if you're someone that they think will never have any hope of paying and that no one will care about (e.g., a homeless person with no family contacts). They have to treat you for your life-threatening conditions while you're hospitalized, but they don't have an obligation to provide free follow-up care later after you're discharged.

EMTALA (the law that requires this) falls far short of actually requiring free comprehensive health care be provided for people who can't afford it. To do that, we'd need to have an actual universal health care system. Instead, we like to pretend that we aren't totally heartless by providing for people's "emergency" needs, without actually doing anything to make sure that they really get better in the long term. And, of course, this massively overburdens emergency departments and greatly drives up the cost of care there, since so many people then rely on the EDs for basic general health care. We would probably greatly reduce overall costs and overcrowding at EDs simply by providing alternative ways (e.g., single payer) for people to get free health care for minor complaints. But the right wing insists that we not do that because it would give "moochers" free care (nevermind that they're already getting free care in the most inefficient way possible).

And I would say that four hours in the waiting room is a SHORT wait in most American emergency departments.  So we have the same problem in the one place where we channel all the people who can't afford health care. I've taken people to emergency rooms for actual emergencies (not bleeding out, but serious problems that need to be treated) and had 8+ hour waits before. That isn't with an appointment, but still, it's not like we're immune to the issue of not having enough resources to treat everyone quickly because of capitalist magic pixie dust or something.

The only people who think our system is "better" than the higher quality single payer systems in other countries are a) people for whom cost is no object; b) people who have never had a serious medical issue; c) people who have always had generous health insurance paid for by someone else; d) people who are profiting from the inefficiency of the current system; or e) all of the above.
 
2013-04-26 03:42:57 PM  
Also, the hospital is allowed to sic collection agencies on you, ruin your credit, sue you, and take everything you own (subject to the law and/or bankruptcy) in order to recover payment for that "free" health care they provided you when you went to the emergency department. So actually, it's not free at all. It's just that those consequences may not matter as much to you if you don't own anything.

They have to treat you, but that doesn't mean they can't go after you later for payment.
 
2013-04-26 05:14:09 PM  
Have a similar story......
Called to the local strip joint for a seizure. Arrived to find a dancer in the bathroom on the floor doing her best seizure impression. I just watched her for a few minutes, noticed her regular breathing rate and the occasional eye opening to see if we were watching. When she stopped, i checked her pulse,it was in the normal range, and i told her if she pissed herself i might just believe her. She sat up and and flipped me off


As a county ER nurse, I ask that you please not tell such things to their faces. We have seizure fakers of all kinds (you know, the ones who never hit their heads when slamming themselves on the ground), and some have learned that incontinence is a sign of a real seizure. We have a couple who will deliberately shiat themselves. If possible, try to provoke or tempt them with questions like, "Would you like a sandwich?" and please discuss signs of fake seizures out of their earshot. Such ignorance will make the guesswork of real vs. fake seizures much easier, especially with repeat offenders.
 
2013-04-26 06:06:02 PM  

Mnemia: Also, the hospital is allowed to sic collection agencies on you, ruin your credit, sue you, and take everything you own (subject to the law and/or bankruptcy) in order to recover payment for that "free" health care they provided you when you went to the emergency department. So actually, it's not free at all. It's just that those consequences may not matter as much to you if you don't own anything.

They have to treat you, but that doesn't mean they can't go after you later for payment.


Not really. It depends on the state. Some states prevent Hospitals from going after property, others prevent them from reporting anything to a credit bureau either directly or through collections.

Tennessee has a fun little law that says no matter how much you send to pay in a healthcare bill, if they cash the check, it's considered a payment. So for a 40 Grand bill, if you sent in a monthly check for a dollar, it'd be considered paid to date if they cash the check.

More than one state says that it can only go after the estate of a deceased, and not their living relatives.

You're also assuming that the patient using EMTALA as "free" healthcare has any material assets the hospital would go after.

A trick many hospitals use, especially For-profits, is to write off uncollectible bills as charitable donations, and pocket the difference from Uncle Sam.
 
2013-04-26 08:04:45 PM  
100 in seven years? Pffft.  Amateur.  In my current response area, I've hauled the same guy 43 times in SIX MONTHS (yes, I did just search my run reports before posting this).  When I search by his name, he hit 100 between Jan and July of 2012.
 
2013-04-27 01:09:30 AM  

Myria: Dr. Nick Riviera: I dealt with that crap a lot when I did EMS.

It's scary to think about an EMT who calls himself Dr. Nick Riviera...

/never called 911


What is even scarier is that I am now a doctor who calls himself Dr. Nick Riviera.
 
2013-04-27 02:52:28 AM  
Not amused.

andersoncab.files.wordpress.com
 
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