Gold Canyon man fighting $48K medical transport bill

A Gold Canyon man says he was forced to be flown to a second hospital after suffering a stroke but he's stuck with a $48,000 bill so he called 3 On Your Side.
Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 5:30 PM MST
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GOLD CANYON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Joe Leduc says while walking into his kitchen last summer to get another cup of coffee, he felt a little strange. What he didn’t know at the time was that he was having a stroke and he had to be transported to the nearest hospital. But once there, he didn’t stay long. “After being there for only about 20 minutes, the doctor says, ‘We’re not a stroke hospital,’” Leduc told 3 On Your Side.

The decision was made to airlift Leduc to another hospital where he could be treated. Leduc says before he knew it, he was being whisked into a medical helicopter. “You didn’t have any say so?” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked. “No,” Leduc replied. “I’m lying there on a gurney and the doctor said, ‘Are you ready?’ I was like, ‘Wait a minute, let me see if this is even covered.’”

Joe was treated at the second hospital and eventually released. But then, he started getting a bill from a company called PHI Air Medical which is the company that owns the transport chopper. “How much is the chopper bill?” Harper asked. “$48,582,” Leduc said.

It’s a bill his insurance company didn’t cover, and Leduc says he certainly can’t pay it. So, 3 On Your Side got a hold of PHI Air Medical. After looking into the issue, a spokesperson wrote me an email asking Leduc to fill out a “... special consideration application, to favorably resolve any billing concern.”

In another email, the spokesperson said, “... when patients cooperate and fill out the necessary paperwork, they have very favorable outcomes.” Leduc says that’s good to know because he’s been extremely stressed. “It’s day to day wondering. Is somebody going to file a suit or turn us into collections, and we’ll have to sell our house. We don’t know,” Leduc said.

3 On Your Side asked Leduc to fill out all the necessary forms and he sent them back to PHI Air Medical. Once they review it and make a decision, Harper will let you know in a follow-up news report.