FDNY holds public hearing on proposed ambulance rate hike
The FDNY held an online public hearing Friday on the proposed rate hike for ambulance rides.
In February, the department proposed to increase the cost by more than 50%. Under the proposal, the cost of a normal ambulance ride through the 911 system would increase to $1,400 - up from $900.
The proposal was announced around one month ago from the FDNY. Under a city charter, the FDNY is allowed to make this change without city government approval - an authority some say doesn't make any sense.
"I'm not understanding why the fire department gets to decide its own rate increases," said Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives for Community Service Society of NY. "Why is there no government oversight. This is a government agency, it should have government oversight."
The proposal would also increase the charge per mile for the trip to the hospital from $15 to $20.
If the change passes, it would go into effect this spring. The FDNY does offer a financial assistance program for people who can't afford to pay the prices.