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Why are ambulance rides so costly?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Personal Injury

Individuals often fear a serious accident due to the potentially life-changing consequences of a catastrophic injury. A motor vehicle collision with traumatic brain injuries, for example, or a slip-and-fall accident with multiple fractures can dramatically impact an individual’s ability to earn a living wage. Adding to the financial peril is the skyrocketing costs of medical treatment, hospital stays and lengthy physical therapy. Not the least of which is a necessary, yet expensive, ambulance ride.

While it takes the brunt of numerous jokes and serves as the centerpiece for several social media memes, the rising costs of healthcare in the United States is nothing to laugh at. Between lost wages, property damage and medical debt, a devastating accident can quickly result in financial ruin. Chronologically speaking, the first item that generally appears in medical treatment is the ambulance ride.

These are expensive?

Unfortunately, yes. Ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, an out-of-network ambulance ride can be unexpectedly expensive. This is due in part to the challenge of regulating the costs of an ambulance ride based on the broad array of private companies offering services to the fluctuating cost of supplies.

A recent study found that the costs of equipment and medications has seen dramatic increases in recent decades. For example:

  • A stretcher can cost as much as $40,000
  • A computerized compression machine can cost around $15,000
  • A cardiac monitor can cost around $40,000
  • A set of EpiPens can cost $300

The note about EpiPens is a crucial factor. The ambulance must maintain a current stock of nearly every emergency medication as time is often a factor. While some treatment might wait until they reach the emergency room, in-route care is often a life-saving measure. When taken in combination with the growing list of standard medications and the costs of vehicle maintenance, the price tag can quickly grow out of control. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of these costs becomes the responsibility of the patient.

Fortunately, if the accident or collision is the result of another person’s or company’s negligence, the injured individual might be entitled to recover monetary compensation through a personal injury claim. This type of compensation might be the only way an injured person could potentially avoid financial devastation for years to come.