An Ambulnz vehicle in New York. Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Zhu via Twitter
Ambulnz, a startup that dispatches non-emergency ambulances, has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $90 million in outside funding. The company did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.
The bottom line: Ambulnz is seeking a lot of cash, but it's unclear how the company operates.
What they're not saying: The Ambulnz website is sparse on details, and there's no explanation of how it earns money or how it works with health insurers.
What we know: Ambulnz says it offers "non-emergency patient transportation services," such as moving patients between hospitals and nursing homes or getting people to their doctor appointments. Uber and Lyft do this as well.
- That means Ambulnz isn't providing rides for people who get shot, have heart attacks or encounter other emergencies. Those still require a 911 call.
- One EMT for Ambulnz explained in a video the company pays based on how many rides they complete — "the more calls you run, the more money you make."
The services are expensive.
- An Ambulnz representative said its standard rides were $350 plus $10 per mile. If a nurse is needed on board, it goes to $850 plus the mileage. The representative said the company "expects payment upfront," but rates could depend on insurance.
- Ambulnz's rates are well above the $225 Medicare pays for basic non-emergency ambulance transports. And even higher above what an Uber or Lyft ride would likely cost (remember: this isn't for emergencies).
- The company's fees are tied to a "local market rate card" and "available upon request." Axios has requested them, but has not received a copy yet.
The big picture: Like other premium health care services, we don't know how big the market and demand for this particular service is, given the high cost, narrow purpose and cheaper alternatives.