Perhaps the biggest problem that people who avail medical air transportation services face is unexpected costs that run into thousands of dollars, even when they are covered by their health insurance policies. Now, a new bill has been passed by the state of Virginia that seeks to end this uncertainty. The bill is called ‘Air Medical Transportation; Informed Decision’. The bill was introduced by Jeremy S. McPike and it went into effect on March 1, 2019. It was passed by the House and Senate of Virginia with zero votes against it recently. Here, we discuss what this bill will mean for the common citizens.
What is Virginia Medical Air Transportation Bill All About?
The bill mandates that hospitals establish processes, which necessitate giving an electronic or written notice to the patients or their authorized representatives. The notice should contain the cost implications of availing medical air transportation services. It should also contain the alternative options including emergency ground ambulance options. If the medical air transportation is out of network of the patient’s health insurance, this fact too must be made apparent. Even if the medical air transportation is covered only in part, it has to be brought to the attention of the patient or his/her authorized representative.
What will the New Bill will do for the Patients?
Patients in Virginia will now have the power to choose whether they want to avail medical air transportation services. Further, it will let them know the cost implications beforehand so that they do not get any nasty surprises in the form of huge bills later on. It is a good attempt by the state to bring about transparency in billing.
It is hoped that the medical insurance companies and the medical air transportation industry will ultimately come to an understanding with regards to costs, facilitated by this bill.
The demand for international air ambulance services has been very high in the year 2015. For companies that rent air ambulances, this has meant soaring revenue. Take for instance FAI which is a German company that rents international air ambulances. The company that is based out of Nuremberg has seen revenue from international air ambulance rentals from 30.4 million Euros to 41.7 million Euros. It rented out 37% more medical flights compared to the previous year. Their international air ambulance flights covered a distance of over 3.7 million kilometers and covered over 125 countries.
Why the Demand for Rental International Air Ambulance?
There are several costs associated with owning an aircraft. Cost of procurement is a major issue and cost of each international air ambulance can run into millions. Moreover, it is not enough if a company owns just a couple of them if the reach is to be global. Another factor is the upkeep and parking. Think of it, aircrafts must be parked professionally and the maintenance can cost thousands of dollars. In fact, countries like the United States are struggling to keep the patient burden low due to such cost factors. Renting out an international air ambulance is much cheaper.
International Air Ambulance Rentals, Skill Personnel and Coordination
A company that gives out international air ambulances on rent obviously also helps its customers with cross-border evacuations. In essence, this becomes a joint effort between two organizations to set things right. Also, a company might sometimes be short of aircraft and not skilled personnel. This forms the perfect ground for hiring an international air ambulance. Most companies that rent out air ambulances also rent out air crafts for other commercial purposes. This means they can make optimum usage of the aircrafts and contain the overheads effectively. Organizations like AFI are known to own huge fleet of aircrafts so availability is never an issue.