We live in Northern California. In November 2007 my wife had a fainting spell at work. While she never went unconscious, she did definitely "grayed out". She works at a bank. A customer called 911 and paramedics arrived quickly. She stabalized and was told by paramedics that she should go to the ER. On 3-4 seperate occaisons she refused an ambutlance. At the 4th or 5th (she does not remember the exact number of times) request by an aggressive ambulance carrier employee she conceded.
One month later we received a bill for $2,000. The distance from her work to the hospital is approx. 1 mile. She had no idea the ambulance carrier was a private, for profit business, in fact we've never considered it up to this point. We always assumed an ambulance to be part of the embergency services covered by city taxes. She feels that she was coerced by an "aggressive" ambulance crew as they reported to her that her heart beat was not steady and here blood pressure was high. Both of these proved not true once tested at the ER. In fact she was released within 3 hours of the beginning of the fainiting incident with a clean bill of health. She could have easily gotten a ride to the hospital by a coworker or myself, as I was in route.
She did not call the ambulance. She did not agree to any terms of service nor sign a contract. Costs were never brought up until the bill arrived. She refused to take an ambulance at least 3, maybe 4 times. She felt she was "brow beat" to go with them for her own "safety".
We've been trying to discuss this with the private carrie for over 2 months now and no-one in a supervisory position has been able to talk with us.
We do not want this to end up in collections, however it doesn't seem appropriate that we are responsible for a $2,000 bill for services not requested, nor contracted by my wife. It was an emergency situation, we received no bills from the paramedics, insurance covered the hospital doctors but refused the ambulance.
Any suggestions on how to proceed?