People who take an ambulance trip frequently ask the same question when they receive the bill. “Why was the cost of the ambulance so expensive?” It might seem a short ride to the hospital should cost about as much as an Uber ride. But ambulance rides and Uber rides are two very different things.
Labor, Training, Readiness, and Equipment
Emergency medical teams need hands-on experience in dealing with emergency situations. In addition to the cost of training Emergency Medical Services personnel, it’s often necessary to have at least two people for every one patient in an ambulance.
People who receive ambulance transportation pay for the services they receive and the cost for ambulances to be readily available.
All of the equipment and staff must also meet local and state regulatory requirements. The cost of such maintenance adds up. Treatment equipment to stabilize the trauma patient before reaching the destination treatment can include emergency ventilators, stretchers, cardiac monitors, infusion pumps, nebulizer machines, oxygen, and more.
Even if the patient receives no additional care during the ambulance ride, the service doesn’t itemize medications and other care a patient may receive in an ambulance. Patients are charged for one of two types of care: basic life support or advanced life support.
Ironically, the least expensive part of an ambulance trip is the trip itself. The mileage charge generally makes up the smallest portion of the final bill.
No matter what the cost, you still want to prioritize getting trauma patients to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible during an emergency. And an Uber ride is no substitute for the available care from an experienced EMS team with all the vital equipment on hand.
Protect Yourself From A Costly Ambulance Trip
You have the power to protect yourself from the expenses of emergency medical transportation. A membership with Medical Air Services Association (MASA) has been providing life-saving emergency assistance to members for over thirty years. MASA protects members from catastrophic financial loss when emergencies arise at home or while traveling by covering your ambulance or airlift, regardless of your age or medical condition. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays or dollar limits. MASA provides coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
MASA’s benefits go beyond emergency transportation. Your MASA membership also includes Escort Transportation (so a loved one can join you for the ride to the hospital), Visitor Transportation (so a loved one can visit you if you’re away from home for more than a week), Organ Retrieval/Recipient Transportation, Repatriation, Children and Pet Return, and more.
In an emergency, your care is the most important thing. You can make the cost worry-free by joining MASA today. ASBA makes joining MASA easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more here.