Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Topika Ambulance Co. to Charge by the Pound as Critical Care Costs Nearly Double

Some overweight Topeka patients to pay more for ambulance use

The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. - A Topeka company will begin charging some overweight and critical care patients more to ride in its ambulances.

The Shawnee County Commission on Monday agreed to allow American Medical Response to raise ambulance costs for critical care patients and overweight people from $629 to $1,172.

AMR director Ken Keller says the higher fees will allow the ambulance company to pay for the extra care technician and medical equipment needed for critical care patients.

And he says the company needed to increase its charges for overweight patients to pay for more manpower and transportation equipment, including extra large and reinforced cots and a winch to help technicians load the patients into the ambulance.

He says, in general, the company will charge more for those weighing over 350 pounds, but each individual patient's size will be evaluated.


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