By Marty Carlson


A Washington couple recently received a $1087 bill from AMR for a ride that went about 200 feet on hospital grounds in Seattle.

Paul Smale that taking a fall on his bicycle and receive some serious injuries. He had been sent to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by helicopter. AMR had picked him up at the helicopter pad and transported him about 200 feet to the emergency room then charging him more $1087 for the ride.

A Harborview spokesperson acknowledged that they have heard complaints from patients and their families over the years about the ambulance bills. But she says other options to move critical patients safely from the helipad to the emergency room have not worked.

In addition, the Paul Smales accident occurred four years ago and AMR is just now sending them a bill.

Wilma Mullins-Smale, Paul’s wife and is a nurse, understands the sometimes-high cost of medicine. And even understands $30,000 cost of the helicopter ride, but also feels the ambulance fee places an unfair burden on people who are already suffering.

The ambulance company AMR could not immediately provide a comment on the bill, and said they were researching the case.


In these days where we are having a constant battle over health care insurance, I believe there is an argument to be made about the healthcare system itself, causing insurance problems due to overall greed on many peoples part.

I have said it many times and I will continue to say until the healthcare system becomes patient orientated and not profit orientated we will never have good healthcare system in this country.

See video of the Smales here: