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Ambulance company bills man $300 for blood pressure check after crash

August 15, 2017 07:53 PM

Imagine you're hit by a suspected drunk driver. Miraculously, you walk away without a scratch. Despite that, you still get a bill for hundreds of dollars from paramedics who responded to the scene. That's what a Rochester trucker said happened to him. When he got that bill, he called us.

It was two in the morning; trucker Gordy King was driving west on 490.

“As you come over the rise a little bit, the road curves to the right.  I see headlights," King recalled. As he neared the Route 31 exit in Bushnell's Basin, the headlights got closer.

"I’m thinking that the headlights are on the other side of the guard rail.  Well, about a hundred yards in front of me, I realize that this person was in my lane,” said King.

A wrong-way driver was barreling right toward him.

"I swerved to the left as far as I could,” said King. “I couldn't have been inches away from the guard rail."

The impact was devastating, but deputies believe Gordy's quick reaction may have saved the life of wrong-way driver Shannon Busacco.  She was charged DWI.  King walked away from the accident shaken, but unscathed. Paramedics asked if he wanted to go to the hospital.

"I said no. So I signed a waiver stating that I wasn't going to be going to the hospital," said King.  The waiver states that a patient is refusing treatment and medical transport.

"And then they said, ‘We'd really like to check your blood pressure to make sure you're okay.’"

He agreed to allow them to take his blood pressure. Then he got a bill for $300.

"A $300 bill for just getting your blood pressure checked?” King asked incredulously. “I have a blood pressure machine sitting next to my computer. I could have done it for free."

"It wasn't just his blood pressure that was taken” said Jon LeRoy, president of Perinton Voluntary Ambulance Service. “He also received a thorough examination by a certified EMT. And in order to have those things done and staff our resources appropriately, there's a lot of overhead involved."

The Perinton Volunteer Ambulance Service is the agency that treated Gordy at the accident scene. LeRoy argues paramedics always ask to assess patients.

"Because oftentimes patients don't really know because of the emotions and the adrenaline that's running through, they don't really know if they really are hurt," said LeRoy.

But King argues he signed a form refusing treatment. He says he didn't know that agreeing to a blood pressure check would result in a $300 bill.

“And that's an understandable situation as well. And that's certainly something that we can work on from our provider angles to make sure that they have permission every time to do everything," said LeRoy.

The ambulance service has reached out King. LeRoy believes they’ll be able to reach a resolution. In our next report, News10NBC explains why the ambulance service argues that New York law dictates that King’s auto insurance pay the bill.

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Deanna Dewberry

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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