3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Gilbert man says ambulance company almost 'took' him for a ride

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"I rode my bike to and from work and it was the most peaceful thing. It’s relaxing both ways," says Daniel DaCosta. He lives in Gilbert and he used to have a habit of getting to work on his motorcycle. "Here’s the jacket that I was wearing the day of the accident."

It was an accident that could have changed his life. As DaCosta remembers it, he was just off of Ellsworth and University when he lost control and crashed. “I was coming home and I took a turn and I took a patch of dirt or dust or the gravel and lost traction. And when my tires gained traction I high-sided, flipped and hit my shoulder, breaking my rib, punctured my lung and I was unconscious immediately."

The good news is DaCosta recovered. However, he didn't have medical insurance to pay all the hospital and doctor bills. As a result the hospital got DaCosta approved for the state's Medicaid system called the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System or AHCSS for short. "AHCSS took care of all the bills that were submitted to them," he says.

But one bill that was never paid was the ambulance ride from Southwest ambulance, which is actually owned by a private company called Rural Metro. As a result Rural Metro sent the bill to collections, which is pursing DaCosta for more than $1,000.

"Down my throat that I owe them money for an accident that I had when I was covered by insurance that Rural Metro took too long to submit their claim to," he says.

3 On Your Side got involved and asked Rural Metro to look into the matter. Their investigation revealed that they were never told DaCosta was placed on AHCSS, and by the time they were informed, the ambulance company had passed the deadline to submit the bill.

Rural Metro officials say it wasn't their mistake, but they tell 3 On Your Side that they will go ahead and waive that $1,000 bill. They also agreed to take Daniel out of collections. Daniel says he couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side. "It was wonderful. I mean if it wasn't for 3 On My Side I'd still be dealing with this issue, I'm sure, for a while. And I'm sure it would've cost me a lot of money."

A big thank you to Rural Metro for eating the cost on this one and keeping Mr. DaCosta from paying $1,000, money he doesn't have.

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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