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Air Ambulance Bases Shut Down in Arkansas

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The air ambulance companies and the rates that that charge for their services has been the center of public debate for quite some time now. Amidst all the controversy, it has been reported that a medical flight company in the state of Arkansas is now shutting down two of its bases. The reason behind the move is obvious. They are not generating enough revenue to keep the bases afloat. While the average cost of running an air ambulance service is believed to be around $10,000 at the least, the insurance reimbursements that they get are far lesser than this amount.

Air Ambulance Companies are Known to Charge High Too

The air ambulance company in question is said to have charged one of its evacuations at $30,000 some time ago. This was the trigger of a lawsuit. Ultimately, doubts were cast on the billing practices of the organization. In spite of the company arguing that interference in their billing practices was against federal laws, the court had gone ahead and dismissed their claims. The company had revealed that over 70% of the people were on either Medicaid or Medicare or even worse, without insurance at all, which was compounding the problem. It was also highlighted that the reimbursement rates of Medicare averaged about $6,000 while the Association of Air Medical Services has put the average cost at about $10,200.

Rural Emergency Services Might Take a Hit

It is no secret that rural hospitals in the United States have been shutting down at a rapid rate. Air ambulance services have been currently filling the gap. However, with the reimbursements now in question and some of the companies shutting down bases, the rural health emergency situation might get worse in the days to come. Currently, the federal government is looking at the issue of reimbursements and the outcome will decide the state of rural healthcare access.

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