Noble McIntyre on January 12, 2016
An air ambulance might have saved your life. You can’t put a dollar amount on that… but the air ambulance companies can. In what’s become a common method for transportation in emergency situations, patients are being airlifted to hospitals and trauma centers in helicopters equipped with emergency medical equipment. Sounds great, right? Sometimes, yes. But, the sticker shock comes while you’re recovering from your injuries. An air ambulance transport could cost upwards of $40,000, and your insurance will likely only pay a small portion of that cost.
So, what happens next? Following an air ambulance ride, you could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars owed to the company. That is leaving patients with no choice but to declare bankruptcy, endure liens on their homes, and deal with the aggressive strategies of debt collection agencies.
Well, that’s part of the problem. Usually, when a circumstance is so dire that a patient requires transportation to a hospital or trauma center, the person is unable to speak for him or herself or express a preference. Some patients who are claiming that they were wrongly overbilled believe that they could have gotten to the hospital just as quickly in a road ambulance as they did in an air ambulance, but they never had the opportunity to make that decision.
If you’ve ever required a ride in a road ambulance, you know that those are expensive, too. But, your insurance is more likely to pay a significant portion of the charge. A ride in an air ambulance does cost between $7,000 and $10,000 to the company. Patients are being charged much more than that, however. One reason is that the air ambulance companies have produced vehicles that have outpaced demand. There are currently more air ambulances in circulation than demand for their services, which means that the companies are charging exorbitant per-flight amounts in order to recoup the costs of their initial investments.
McIntyre Law is currently working with a client who is trying to recover excessive costs from her air ambulance ride. Right now, the McIntyre Law team is seeing more and more individuals who are suffering financially from the air ambulance companies’ billing practices, and we want to help. If you or a loved one has been charged a high fee for an air ambulance ride and would like to try to recover some of those costs, contact McIntyre Law today to see how we can help!