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Couple charged $1K for ambulance ride that never left hospital

AMR recently charged Paul Smale and Wilma Mullins-Smale $1,087 for a short trip from the heli-pad to the hospital four years ago


By EMS1 Staff

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. — A couple was recently charged over a thousand dollars for an ambulance ride that never left hospital grounds and occurred four years ago.

THV11 reported that Paul Smale and Wilma Mullins-Smale recently received a bill for $1,087 from AMR for a ride that took Smale from the heli-pad to Harborview Medical Center when he was airlifted after a bicycle crash four years ago.

“You’re landing at a trauma center hospital and now the patient has to pay for an ambulance to pick you up there and drive you from the hospital maybe a half a block – just around the corner. That’s pretty crazy,” Mullins-Smale said.

Harborview's spokesperson said they've gotten ambulance bill complaints in the past, but other transportation options frmo the heli-pad to the emergency room have been unsuccessful.

The Smales said they are confused about why AMR waited so long to send them a bill.

“I’m trying to figure out how to fix the problem, so it doesn’t happen to other people," Mullins-Smale said.

An AMR spokesperson said he was researching the incident and could not immediately provide a comment. 

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