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Why Emergency Medical Transportation Can Be So Expensive and How You Can Protect Yourself

May 1, 2024

People who have needed an ambulance frequently ask the same question when they receive the bill: “How is the cost of the ambulance so expensive?” Why should a short ride to a nearby hospital cost significantly more than an Uber ride? The reason is simple: an Uber ride only needs to get a passenger to their location. On the other hand, an ambulance ride is designed to provide vital assistance to someone experiencing a medical emergency and deliver them to the hospital. AMBA can help you understand why medical transportation can be so expensive and how to help avoid paying this out of your own pocket.

Labor, Training, Readiness, and Equipment

Emergency medical teams need hands-on experience in dealing with emergencies. In addition to the cost of training Emergency Medical Services personnel, having at least two people for every patient in an ambulance is often necessary.

People who receive ambulance transportation pay for the services they receive and the cost of making ambulances readily available.

All equipment and staff must also meet local and state regulatory requirements. The cost of this maintenance rapidly adds up. Treatment equipment to stabilize the trauma patient before reaching the hospital can include emergency ventilators, stretchers, cardiac monitors, infusion pumps, nebulizer machines, oxygen, and more.

What if the patient receives no additional care during the ambulance ride? Unfortunately, these services frequently don’t itemize the care or medications a patient may receive during an ambulance ride. Patients are charged for one of two types of care: essential life support or advanced life support.

In fact, the ride is the least expensive part of an ambulance trip. The mileage charge generally makes up the most minor portion of the final bill.

No matter the financial cost, the priority is to get trauma patients to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. An Uber ride is no substitute for the care an experienced EMS team with vital, life-saving equipment can provide.

AMBA Can Help Protect You from the Cost of Emergency Medical Transportation

AMBA and your association can protect your savings with a Medical Air Services Association (MASA) plan. MASA provides lifesaving emergency transportation services. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays, or dollar limits. MASA covers your ambulance or airlift in all 50 states and Canada, regardless of your age or medical condition.

Your care is the most important thing in a medical emergency. You can make the cost worry-free by signing up today. Your association and AMBA make getting MASA easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at www.AMBAmedtransport.com or contact the AMBA Call Center at 877-290-3170 M-F 8am-6pm CT.

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