Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Someone Call a Chopper!

"Patients hit with big bills from air ambulances" by Peter Eavis New York Times  May 06, 2015

NEW YORK — Clarence W. Kendall’s case, and many others like it, provides a window into one of the most lucrative booms in health care in recent years. Air ambulance companies, which indisputably save lives, often in dramatic circumstances, have consistently raised their rates and aggressively expanded their networks, adding scores of expensive new helicopters.

The model has worked because health insurance has covered a large share of the bills. Now changes in the air ambulance industry may leave patients even more financially vulnerable.

At the same time, profits are under threat from within.

Now I am $tarting to feel $ick.

Strong revenue over the last decade fed explosive growth in the number of air ambulances, creating an inefficient system in which too many helicopters were chasing too few patients, according to some air ambulance operators and emergency care experts. One side effect may be that smaller, nonprofit air ambulance operators, which make up a significant portion of the industry and may charge less than their large commercial rivals, are finding it harder to survive.

Concern about future revenue recently prompted the air ambulance companies to seek help from Washington. The Association of Air Medical Services, an industry trade group, is promoting legislation that was introduced in the House of Representatives in February. Among other things, the bill would increase Medicare payments to air ambulance companies.

The association asserts that higher payouts are needed to keep up with costs, and it contends that a protracted decline in revenue could cause air ambulance operators to withdraw from certain areas....

I'll set you down here.


Just be thankful the damn thing didn't crash, will you?

RelatedAmbulance firm ordered to pay $1.5m in wrongful death suit

Sorry I do not have more time.