Local business owner offers to pick up $2,000 ambulance tab for veteran

VA didn't pay emergency medical bills
Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 22:24:25-05

Ryan Doheny said the story he saw on 10News last night made him angry.  He was referring to a Team 10 investigation into a veteran's emergency medical bills that the VA hasn't paid.

Doheny put his anger into action the next day, saying his company, Axia3, would pay a nearly $2,000 ambulance bill for 70-year-old Navy veteran Bill Rose.

Axia3 distributes pro-digestive antacids and supplements said to cure the common hangover.

"I immediately wanted to do something to help the guy because I felt bad," Doheny said, adding he thinks it's wrong for the Veteran's Administration to reject payment of any veterans' claims for emergency medical coverage.

Doheney admitted he has a soft-spot for veterans. 

“My grandfather, he was in WWII, he was in Pearl Harbor and I worked with a couple of great people  that served our country, and I wanted to be able to give back and this is a great way for us to show our appreciation to the vets.”

BACKSTORY: Vietnam Veteran claims VA won't pay for emergency care

Rose called 9-1-1 in August after he woke from a nap with a searing pain in his lower back.  He thought he might die, but it turned out his pain stemmed from an infection.

He believed the VA would cover the costs because they sent an information sheet to veterans assuring them that if they needed emergency care they could get it at the closest hospital, even if it wasn't operated by the VA. What Rose didn't know is that veterans with outside medical insurance like Medicare, often have their claims rejected.

Since our investigation aired, Team 10 heard from several veterans who say they, too have been stuck with hefty medical bills that they thought the VA would cover.

A U.S. Appeals Court ruled last year that the VA should be covering outside emergency costs so veterans don't get stuck paying high deductibles out of pocket.

A VA spokesperson couldn't tell us is or when the veteran's outside medical bills might be paid.

In the meantime, Rose said Doheny is proof "there are wonderful people out there."