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Author Topic: Some Ambulance Drivers Are Evil.  (Read 2053 times)
Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« on: May 01, 2018, 01:33:03 PM »

Before I say this, please note that in Britain we have two types of ambulance drivers

  • Those that are also paramedics and drive to medical emergencies, take injured/sick people to hospital, etc..
  • Those who drive patients to regular outpatient appointments, dialysis*, home fron hospital when cured, etc.. These "ambulance drivers" are really just glorified bus drivers.

The ambulance drivers I am about talk about are the second type, "glorified bus drivers".

Because of this ongoing problem: http://ihatedialysis.com/forum/index.php?topic=34460.0 , I was dialysed* at the main hospital instead of the clinic yesterday, and rather being returned home by cab I was sent home by ambulance. This was not my regular journey and they had no regular ambulance for me, so I was put in with an elderly gentleman being picked up from hospital and taken home. I was put in the ambulance first, then we drove round to the ward to pick up the released patient (ex-patient) so I saw the ambulance driver's shameful behaviour.

The patient was elderly and disabled. He could walk with a zimmer frame, but not without one. Because the ward was upstairs and some way from the lift, the ambulance drivers brought him down in their own wheelchair as it would have taken him ages to walk on his frame. The other driver carried his belongings down. Once in the ambulance the old man pointed out that they had forgotten his zimmer frame. One of the drivers told him that they did not have time to go back and get it.

They then drove him home, got him into his house in their wheel chair, dumped him in a (static) chair and took their wheelchair away. Leaving a disabled guy unable to walk, unable to even go to the toilet. Eventually he would have to move, if only to use the toilet. The only other human in the house, was his elderly, frail wife. When he tried to walk, she would no doubt try to help him, he would fall and hurt them both.

On this board I cannot use the words I mostly want to say to describe my feelings about those ambulance drivers.

For those of you wanting a happy ending: When I got home I immediately 'phoned the woman in charge of hospital transport to complain about this. She is used to me complaining, and usually responds with "Thank you for telling me Paul, I'll look into it" meaning "As soon as I put the 'phone down, I'll forget about your complaint, and I wish I could forget about you." However this time she agreed with me that this was unacceptable, and her "I'll look into this" sounded believable.

About half an hour later she 'phoned back to say she had worked out who the patient was (I did not know his name so could not tell her), phoned his home and found out that he was OK so far, his wife was with him. She had then arranged for another ambulance to pick up his zimmer frame and take it to his home. And she would be dealing with the drivers when they came off shift.

But I still cannot understand how those first drivers could consider their behaviour even remotely acceptable!


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* OK, this post contains the word "dialysis", but it is not really about dialysis, so I put it here. Moderators can move it if they feel that they have to.

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Whoever said "God does not make mistakes" has obviously never seen the complete bog up he made of my kidneys!
Simon Dog
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 01:42:42 PM »

Quote
Those who drive patients to regular outpatient appointments, dialysis*, home from hospital when cured, etc.. These "ambulance drivers" are really just glorified bus drivers.
EMT professionals I know refer to this as the "dialysis shuffle", and it is reserved for the EMTs with the lowest level of certification.

Real ambulii are absurdly expensive.  A 17 mile trip to Boston cost my insurance company $5900, including the $100 per mile surcharge.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 01:43:46 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 02:03:43 PM »

Real ambulii are absurdly expensive.  A 17 mile trip to Boston cost my insurance company $5900, including the $100 per mile surcharge.

Ah yes, but that is because you live in America. In the UK the drivers get just under £10 (about $15) an hour. So at two drivers that is $30, plus petrol and depreciation on the ambulance, per hour. I'm not sure how long the trip to Boston is, nor how much petrol they use in 17 miles, but if that is even remotely close to $5900 at $30 dollars an hour (plus petrol and depreciation) then either your ambulances are pulled by a team of snails or I need to give back that advanced maths certificate I got at school!

It is the little price differences like this, that make it possible for the British government to give us free medical care for life!

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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 02:09:06 PM »

P.S. according to Google, in America EMTs get $24000 per annum, so your insurance paid about 3 months of one EMT's wages.
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 02:16:16 PM »

Ambulances are a racket because the companies do not negotiate or get into contracts with insurance - they can charge what they want.  And, the drivers padded the bill with some services like IV administration that definitely did not happen on the ride.   It reminds of those two DaVita dialysis treatments I had in Kent, WA that my insurance paid $5050 for (each, not total).

EMTs in the US are poorly paid, unless they get on a fire department in which case they can easily clear $100K after a few years and get a defined benefit pension of up to 80% of salary and post-employment medical insurance.
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Marilee
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 04:12:45 PM »

Paul -

GOOD FOR YOU, sticking up for this man and having a chat with the woman at the hospital about the incident. Thank-you for helping him get his zimmer back and caring about his well-being. Many people would cluck their tongues and get nothing done, but you chose to act.

  :cheer:  :cheer:  :cheer:
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
Charlie B53
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 04:26:05 PM »


The U.S. billing system it is not the individuals providing the service but rather the COMPANY doing the BILLING, that sticks it clear up into the Insurance Companies, then break it off up inside.

If the Insurance Company does not have a 'negotiated Contract' then they are screwed, as we are when our Insurance Company claims 'Policy Limit Exceeded' and/or you have an "Annual Deductible" that needs to be met before any benefits are paid.

I still have a pile of both Ambulance and Hospital bills the VA has so far denied coverage a number of times.  I will keep on appealing as my Service-Connected Disability DID cause me to make the trips/treatments, so eventually the VA will pay them all.  Screws my non-existant credit status until then.  Ask me if I care.  I'm getting old.

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Michael Murphy
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 06:43:37 PM »

The CMS had to require CMS approval of patients getting ambulance rides to dialysis.  When I started in 2013 almost half of the clinic patients were driven in by ambulance.  It was such a racket that the ambulance companies were paying about 3000 dollars for pa5tients to use their services.  It was a Ute percentage of the total Medicare payout for this type of service.  Now itís next to impossible to get approved.  They even reject blind people saying they can take the New Jersey bus service for the handicapped/
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 08:35:25 PM »

Uber and Lyft would be pretty cost effective in the areas they serve.

I think ambulance transport is fairly routine for patients coming from nursing homes.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:36:54 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
Riki
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 11:04:58 AM »

We have a "volunteer" transport service for the disabled here, run mainly by the Rotary Club.  I put volunteer in quotes cuz the drivers are a paid.  I used to use their services, but I don't anymore because their prices went up and it's cheaper to take a cab.  I feel bad for those with large chairs that don't have the option that I do.  Most of those who use the service are like me, they have a pension as their only income and are lucky to have their basic needs met  Our government Social Services won't pay for medical transport, so if any of these people have health issues, I've no idea how they get to doctor's appointments or things like dialysis or cancer treatments.  The few that use the service at my clinic are in nursing homes, so I'm guessing it's part of their residency agreement.  It just seems really stupid to me, that those who need the service the most are those who are unable to afford it.
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Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
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