An uninsured man in California is fighting a $40,000 hospital bill because the paramedics who arrived on the scene of his motorcycle accident took him to the emergency room even though he repeatedly asked them not to.
“I said i told you i can’t go, I don’t have insurance,” he tells CBS Sacramento. “And I was still yelling the words in the ambulance, I can’t go. I told you I can’t go.”
Once he arrived at the hospital, doctors opted to airlift the man to the nearest trauma center where it was determined that he’d suffered a concussion and a broken bone around his eye. He soon left the hospital against doctors’ orders, but not before totaling up more than $40,000 in medical expenses.
The man says he shouldn’t have to pay because he was “kidnapped” and should have been released when he told the first responders he didn’t want to go to the hospital. ” I just know if they had listened to me, I wouldn’t have a bill,” he says.
But one paramedic explains to CBS Sacramento that head trauma is one of those situations where responders are effectively required to take the patient to the hospital regardless of what they say.
“Your license is at jeopardy for patient abandonment, if you show up to a person in need of care and you don’t take them to the hospital,” says the paramedic.
CBS reports that the man is now working with the hospital to reduce the amount of his bill.
Call Kurtis: I Don’t Have Insurance, Don’t Take Me To The Hospital [CBS Sacramento]