According to the lawsuit filed in January, the ambulance company is seeking $24,290 in unpaid patient transfer fees.
Gabriel Aleman said that the bills stem from patient transfers within the Christus Spohn System.
“They are supposed to pay for that,” he said.
Aleman said he doesn’t want the lawsuit to reflect badly on the care the hospital staff provides.
“It is nothing against the hospital per se,” he said.
Likewise, it should not reflect upon the administration.
“I worked with that administrator in the past in Kenedy,” Aleman said. “It is nothing toward him personally.”
Aleman said he had worked with Raymond Ramos,the former head of the hospital, to get the bill settled.
“I have tried,” he said.
“I still believe this hospital is a blessing to this community, but business is business.
“I would not hesitate for myself to go into this hospital.
“It is nothing to do with the hospital.”
Aleman said that since he filed the lawsuit, he has been “blackballed” and is no longer called for transfers by staff.
“I have been taken off their rotation,” he said. “I knew we were going to be blackballed once we filed this lawsuit.”
Aleman, however, is still taking people to the hospital as part of his agreements with the city and the county.
As the official ambulance service for the city and county, the company transports people not only to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville, but also to Otto Kaiser in Kenedy—whichever is closer.
“I believe in this hospital,” Aleman said.
According to court documents, the transfers in question occurred throughout last year—each listed in what is identified as Exhibit A in the suit.
Aleman said that it is not uncommon for a hospital to transfer a patient to another facility for specialized testing.
According to the suit, “Prior to each transport listed within Exhibit ‘A’, plaintiff sought the prior authorization for the transport. Defendant, acting through their agents, authorized the transports and plaintiff performed,” the suit reads. “Subsequently, plaintiff tendered the bills to defendant who has refused to pay any amounts on the accounts noted on Exhibit ‘A.’
“The patients listed on Exhibit ‘A’ are all facility responsible patients for who defendant initiated the transport with plaintiff or wheelchair van transports where defendant initiated the transport with plaintiff.”
His suit seeks not only the current amount he says is due but also accrued interest.
The hospital also filed paperwork responding to the suit, saying, “this defendant generally denies the allegations contained in plaintiff’s original petition.”
“Defendant would show that, contrary to the allegation in plaintiff’s petition, all conditions precedent have not been performed or have not occurred.”
Katy Kiser, spokeswoman for the hospital, said, “More than a month ago, we requested the invoices which Angel Care Ambulance has claimed are outstanding. We continue to reach out to receive this documentation. The plaintiff’s counsel has not yet responded to those requests. We look forward to working with the plaintiff to resolve this matter in a timely fashion.
“We must be good stewards of our funds and must have proper documentation of services billed to the hospital.”
This suit, Aleman said, is just business.
“It was not done with malicious intent,” he said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.