Taken For A Ride: After ATV Crash, Doctor Gets $56,603 Bill For Air Ambulance Trip

September 26, 2018, Kaiser Health News, Alison Kodjak, NPR News- It was the first - and only - time Dr. Naveed Khan, a 35-year-old radiologist, ever rode in an all-terrain vehicle.  Khan took the wheel from his friend and drove circles in the sand, on a trail along the Red River in Texas. “As soon as I turned to the side where my body weight was, this two-seater vehicle ... just tilted toward the side and toppled,” Khan recalled. It landed on his left arm. When an ambulance delivered him to the emergency room at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Khan was surprised to hear a doctor murmur that it was the worst arm injury he’d ever seen. Khan needed immediate helicopter transport to a trauma center for surgery in Fort Worth, if there was any hope of saving the arm. Groggy from painkillers, Khan managed to ask the doctors how much the flight would cost and whether it would be covered by his insurer. “I think they told my friend, ‘He needs to stop asking questions. He needs to get on that helicopter. He doesn’t realize how serious this injury is,’” Khan recalled. After weeks in the hospital, he asked the doctors to amputate, so he could get on with his life. And then the bill came.

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