Thursday, September 24, 2009

What About Private-Sector Alternatives?

There are at least 2 private-sector ambulance companies in the Greater Milwaukee area.

Under current ambulance fees, a [Waukesha] resident is charged $375, $500 or $650, depending on the level of services needed. Non-residents are charged $510, $590 or $770. Both pay $8 per mile for trips, as well.

Effective as soon as possible upon Common Council approval, those fees would increase by $100 for residents and from $80 to $110 for non-residents. Mileage would jump to $12 per mile.
Beginning in July, the rates would go up $95 to $118 more for residents and $125 to $200 more for non-residents, with trip costs at $14 per mile.

The largest increase would be felt by residents needing the most basic service, such as a wound bandaged or a broken arm splinted, where the $375 fee would increase to $593 by next July - a 58% increase.

I don't doubt the figures, nor the rationale for the increase.

But it seems to me that privately-owned firms now have a price-point against which they can compete, and it's about time that municipal leaders start asking questions about who should render the service.

1 comment:

Dan said...

$12 a mile, what are they driving, a suped up ambulance?
Ambulance feescan be outrageous and they get you on the mileage, but the ambulance service is a huge money maker for local fire departments and EMS squads.
Oh, wait, isn't it wrong for health care companies to make profits?