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Disabled veteran billed for ambulance ride and can’t afford to pay it

Disabled veteran Frank Taylor reached out to CBS 8 for help with a billing issue he was having with Falck Mobile Health Corporation.

SAN DIEGO — Disabled veteran Frank Taylor reached out to CBS 8 for help with a billing issue he was having with Falck Mobile Health Corporation, San Diego’s new ambulance service provider.

“These are the two invoices that I received for $2,758 asking for payment in full,” said Taylor, pointing to his invoice. “I don’t have this type of money. I penny pinch, cut coupons. I rely on the VA to help me with 100% of my health care.”

It all started on the morning of April 3, when Frank’s husband, Byron, woke up and found him unresponsive.

“It was terrible,” said Byron. “I said, ‘Frank, Frank! Wake up! Wake up!’ I had a glass of ice water and threw it on him, and nothing happened.”

He called 9-1-1 and paramedics in a Falck ambulance responded and took Frank to the nearest hospital, Kaiser Permanente.

“The thing that I kept telling them was that he was VA and that they would completely cover this 100%,” said Byron. “I said it about 4 times.”

A month later, Frank received a $2,700 invoice for the ambulance ride, so he contacted Falck and the VA and thought he cleared up the confusion, but he received the same bill again a couple days ago. Worried that this bill could go to collections and affect his credit, he reached out to CBS 8 for help.

“I don’t know, and I don’t trust them right now, so I don’t want to find out,” said Taylor. “If this goes to collections, I’m not sure I’m going to get out of that.”

After his medical emergency, Frank recovered in the hospital for six days and he was eventually diagnosed with small vessel disease. His bill with Kaiser was over $40,000 dollars, and the VA paid that without any problem.

“You’re telling me this ambulance company can’t generate an invoice for $2,758 so they can get paid and take the stress and anxiety off me,” said Taylor.

He signed a consent form so that CBS 8’s Brian White could discuss his billing issue with management at Falck headquarters in Kearny Mesa. Managing Director, Jeff Behm, told Brian that they didn’t intend for this to happen and that they’re straightening it out with the VA, and he thanked Frank for his service.

“I’ll reach out to him just to personally apologize for any inconvenience or any stress this may have caused him,” said Behm. “It certainly wasn’t our intent, but it happens from time to time. We’re glad to be able to work it out with the gentleman from the VA and then with Mr. Taylor.”

Director Behm assured CBS 8 that the issue will be resolved, and Mr. Taylor shouldn’t be receiving any more invoices for the ambulance ride.

If you have a story, you’d like CBS 8 to look into, email us at YourStories@cbs8.com.

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