Patients and the companies that insure them would have to pay more for rides in FDNY ambulances under a rate hike proposed to offset the cost of inflation and salary increases for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, fire officials said.
Under a proposal published Tuesday by the FDNY, the cost of basic life support ambulance service through the city’s 911 system would rise from $900 to $1,385, a 54% increase.
The proposed fee schedule also calls for an additional charge of $20 per mile traveled, up from $15 per mile.
“The charges for ambulance service were last increased two years ago, in January 2021,” the department said in a notice announcing a public hearing on the rate hike.
“The proposed rates in part reflect increases (including recent EMS collective bargaining increases and inflation) in personal services costs and other than personal services costs required to provide emergency ambulance service. The proposed rate increases have been calculated to reduce the portion of such costs that is currently borne by city taxpayers.”
The cost of providing oxygen will remain the same at $66.
The last rate hike was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An FDNY spokeswoman said increases are expected to take effect this spring and would result in a $4 million revenue boost for the city for this fiscal year, and a $16.3 million revenue bump for next fiscal year.
The FDNY has scheduled an online public hearing on the issue for March 24.
But Bronx City Councilman Oswald Feliz, who is a member of the Council’s Fire and Emergency Management Committee, didn’t need that long to weigh in on the proposal.
“I’m definitely concerned about how this can affect low-income families who might need these services for medical emergencies,” said Feliz, who represents one of the city’s poorest districts.