How much do hospital vans earn

Ambulance

Who bears the costs?

The term ambulance is defined in DIN 13050 of the ambulance and hospital standardization committee. According to No. 3.21 “it is a transport that includes the transport of sick, injured or other people in need who are not emergency patients and that includes professional care in an ambulance by qualified personnel”.
The ambulance is carried out as a form of rescue service with an ambulance, or alternatively with an ambulance, and is accompanied by trained rescue personnel. If the ambulance is medically necessary and necessary, the costs incurred will be paid by the social security. These include the health and long-term care insurance funds, accident insurance and pension insurance. The ambulance trips are carried out by private companies commissioned for this purpose. The legal basis for this is the respective state law on the rescue service as well as emergency and patient transport - the Rescue Service Act.

Those who are not acutely affected by it rarely deal with these and other legal bases. Nevertheless, it is interesting and important to know in which case which transport costs are paid by whom - or not. Because if there is no statutory cost bearer, then the person who arranged the ambulance remains responsible for the costs.


Statutory health insurance will assume the costs

In most cases, it will be a matter of illness-related transport, in which case the respective health insurance company is the direct and only point of contact. For the roughly ten dozen health insurance companies in statutory health insurance, the GKVs, the ambulance transport guidelines of the joint federal committee of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds apply, which are laid down in Section 60 of the fifth social code. It stipulates that statutory health insurances must cover the travel costs and which vehicle can be used for which ambulance. A distinction is made between rescue journeys, patient transport journeys, patient journeys and, in exceptional cases, patient journeys for outpatient treatment.

The costs for rescue journeys with an ambulance, an ambulance or a rescue helicopter are then reimbursed by the GKV if the insured person has to be transported with a qualified rescue vehicle due to his state of health. Ambulance, ambulance or rescue helicopter must be requested from the locally responsible rescue control center. This decides on the vehicle to be used, so that the question of costs is also secured.

An ambulance can be ordered if the insured person needs professional support during the journey. This is done by qualified, but non-medical staff. The vehicle is not equipped for the care of emergency patients.

The assumption of costs for medical trips is tied to certain conditions. These trips are made by taxis, rental cars, private vehicles or public transport. Usually, travel expenses for private cars or public transport are reimbursed. Collective trips for several insured persons are reasonable. The prescribing doctor decides on a case-by-case basis which medical trip he considers medically correct and appropriate. Sick trips for outpatient treatment, even if they are prescribed by a doctor, will only be reimbursed if they have been approved in advance by the GKV!


Costs will be covered by the German pension insurance

For a transport to the rehabilitation measure following a medically necessary hospital stay, the colloquial rehabilitation, the contact person is not the health insurance company, but the pension insurance company. The transport to rehab can take place both directly from the hospital bed and from home. In both cases, the German Pension Insurance, DRV, covers the costs for the return trip including luggage transport. It is common to travel by public transport or by private car. When using the bus or train, the cheapest fares and connections are taken into account in the reimbursement of costs. For the use of a car, the DRV pays a mileage allowance per kilometer driven. Here, too, only the direct connection using a route planner is taken into account. If the rehab lasts longer than eight weeks, travel costs for a so-called family trip home twice a month will be reimbursed. In all cases, the costs are paid by the insured, i.e. they are displayed and reimbursed retrospectively against documentary evidence.


Costs taken over by the long-term care insurance

The long-term care fund is the point of contact for transport to a nursing home. It is affiliated with the insured person's health insurance company and the cost bearer for all nursing measures. Here there is the possibility, but no legal entitlement, to apply for the travel costs incurred as additional care services in accordance with Section 45b of the eleventh social code on social long-term care insurance. The basic monthly amount for this is 100 euros. Eligible to apply are people who have already been awarded a degree of long-term care, as well as people who need help in the area of ​​basic care and domestic care, but who do not reach the degree of long-term care 2. The criteria for this are set out in Section 45a of Book XI of the Social Code. In this case, there is no other way of assuming travel costs. Other journeys from the residence / nursing home and back must also be paid for by the person in need of care.


In conclusion, the following can be stated:

  • The contact person for reimbursement of travel expenses is always the insurance company that also covers all other costs.
  • The legal basis for this is also named in such detail to illustrate the complexity of the area of ​​"patient transport and its costs".
  • In all cases, it is advisable to have close and timely contact with the cost bearer, i.e. with health / long-term care / pension insurance.
  • In urgent cases and emergencies, the rescue control center should always be called first.
  • Every ambulance is a service. It creates costs and has to be paid for. Whoever places the order is in principle also liable to pay. The costs will only be covered or reimbursed if there is a legal basis for doing so. This also applies in an extreme emergency. Otherwise, the person who ordered the transport will receive the invoice.