is estimated to be $5.7 million 1,
yet the hospital admits that the Main Building,
where the helipad location is proposed, will
“pose a significant risk of partial or total
collapse and a danger to the public”, in the event
of a “major seismic event”.
COSTS OF HELICOPTER PATIENT TRANSFER
SFGH hopes a helipad
fully-insured patients who currently transfer to
Stanford, Sacramento or San Jose from other Northern
California counties. But if these patients
fill our hospital beds, where will the San Franciscans
needing emergency care be treated?
- The cost of a single helicopter patient transfer
ranges between $15,000 - $20,000, depending on
distance traveled and services provided.
- Occasionally, patients have been charged as much
as $25,000 (see
Wall Street Journal Article: Fatal Crashes.)
- Medicare and Medical will only cover one-third of
- Some private health insurance plans will pay for
50-75% of the cost, but the patient must pay the
- Calstar and Reach, the two main Bay Area medical helicopter transport companies,
admit they use collection agencies to enforce delinquent payments.
COSTS OF EMERGENCY ROOM AVAILABILITY
San Francisco General Hospital was intended to serve
San Franciscans (see
Mission Statement), but SFGH is already
so overcrowded that the Emergency Room is closed to
local residents 20% of the time. If additional
patients are transferred to SFGH from surrounding
counties, this ER diversion rate will increase even more. San Francisco residents having heart
attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies will
be turned away; as their ambulances hunt for an available ER, some San Franciscans
Learn which patients will actually be flown to a SFGH helipad .Read: .SF Rescues?
, p. 43.
Institutional Master Plan Update, p.