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I refused an ambulance that I never called. Now there is a GIANT bill. I need some legal advice or assistance.

Oakland, CA |

I fainted; hit my head. I was with my partner. We did NOT call for an ambulance. I believe it was SFPD (oddly SFPD officers were nearby for something else). I was sound and sober throughout, as was my partner. I am an uninsured freelancer waiting for ACA coverage. Told this to the paramedics MULTIPLE times. They (King American) coaxed me into their vehicle against my will; took BP, blood sugar. Then insisted on transporting me to a private hospital, whose bill I have yet to receive. I said NO multiple times, pointing to my reliable partner, who agreed to take me to an ER. I explained that my partner would take me; I could not pay an ambulance bill. The medics (liars) insisted they take me as a homeless Jane Doe and promised NO bill. Now: $2200+ bill for 2-mile ride that I tried refusing.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

In all probability, you have the option of applying for cancellation of the bill or a reduction if you do not have the financial resources to pay it. Information should be contained on the statement you received. If services were rendered to you, you may be responsible for the charges. Deal with the bill as I have mentioned. The fact you did not call for the ambulance is immaterial. Good luck.

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Posted

I'm glad to understand (?) that the fact I did not call was immaterial. My concern is about the criminal fraud the paramedics committed by manipulating me. "Information should be contained on the statement you received." Uhhh. the statement billed for "services" in the amount of $2200--NO information--and then 2 miles of mileage charges. I did not ask for OR need the services rendered and tried to refuse. If anyone else can speak for the fraud or the manipulative/fraudulent/deceptive practices of King American I would like to know. Especially because I recently read that the national average for the "shocking" ambulance ride is $900; this is ABSURD.

Asker

Posted

Also: my partner and I were of sound mind and body to take me to the ER. We'd have gone to the cheap hospital, but the paramedics at King American insisted on bringing me to a private hospital with higher fees, again, without my consent!!

Asker

Posted

Services were rendered against my will, and fraud was committed. I would like to know how to punish the fraud/what recourse I have.

Posted

Have a local lawyer negotiate down the bill

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Posted

Hopefully you can negotiate a reduction.

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Posted

Fraud was committed. I would like to know how to punish the fraud/what recourse I have.

Posted

I would refuse to pay it. Send the company a letter explaining your refusal of service, that your reliable partner was present, available to drive you, and a witness to what transpired. If they sue (most unlikely) be sure to bring your partner as a witness.

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Posted

Thank you. Would they bother to sue or simply turn me over to collections and ruin my credit? Also, because they committed fraud, is that punishable by law? Can I pay the bill and then sue them so that they don't ruin my credit first?

Del Duane Hovden

Del Duane Hovden

Posted

Another post suggests they are aggressive. I can't gauge that. I wouldn't pay and sue. Once money out of your hands it is very hard to get it back. I think the explanatory letter might ward them off. (If not it should be an exhibit you use at a small claims hearing, if there is one.) If they send to credit agency I would send letter demanding removal. It has been my experience that with one of these strategies the company will finally move on.

Posted

Medical bills can usually be negotiated. That said... should one pass out and fall and hit his or her noggin, a properly trained medical professional will recognize this as potentially life threatening - one, because people should not just pass out and two because head trauma is a serious injury. The person who faints, falls, and hits head should be evaluated by an emergency physician for, among other things, confused thoughts and mental status changes. The liability for transporting someone to the hospital when not really needed is substantially less than not transporting when the condition warranted it. I'd take the case of someone refused ER transport for an obvious and serious injury but pass for someone transported in the name of extreme caution.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician

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Posted

I, as well as witnesses, will attest that I promised I would go to the ER (my head needed stitches). I made it clear, several times, that it was about THEIR bill I couldn't afford and I would happily seek medical attention. This was not an emergency. They also committed FRAUD by telling me they'd put me in as a homeless Jane Doe (let us do this; we want to make sure you'll get treatment) when they were going to turn around and bill me for MORE THAN $2200 for a 2-mile ride? They checked my BP and blood sugar. This is fraudulent. That is my concern. If they cared that much they did have my info to follow up; someone with a REAL emergency may have been neglected while my non-emergency problem was being forced upon me.

Posted

The SFPD did what they are supposed to do by calling the ambulance. Regardless of whether King American should or should not have transported you, be aware that they are a very aggressive company and will take you to small claims court if you are unable to work something out with them.

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Posted

Thank you. They will bother to take me to small claims rather than simply send me to collections and ruin my credit? Can I pay the bill and then take THEM to small claims? What recourse do I have for the fraud they committed?

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