This is so unfortunate.
The bad economy is truly hitting the USA hard, and is now even affecting ambulance providers all over the country to the extent that many have had to increase their prices!
According to Stephen Williamson, president of the American Ambulance Association, a lot of this has to do with rising costs, decreased support from local government, low Medicare reimbursement rates, and a rise in uninsured people.
Williamson goes on to cite a 2007 Government Accountability Office report explaining that providers were previously paid in a Medicare reimbursement rate 6% below cost, but in remote areas, the gap had widened 17% - and is continuing to grow!
Furthermore, while providers used to be able to use subsidies from their local government, a lack of resources have cut that down significantly, forcing the usage fees to increase!
Steve Weigand, the director of servicing for the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, elaborates:
"We're having to raise the rate on everyone else because of the people who don't have insurance."
Nobody should have to suffer an injury, illness, or worse - and then have to be concerned about paying for an expensive ambulance fee!
Hopefully soon our government will find a way to rectify this serious issue.
[Image via AP Images.]