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Air Ambulance Industry and Tennessee’s Move to Regulate it


The state of Tennessee has been trying to regulate the air ambulance industry that has been so far protected by federal legislation that prevents it from doing so. It seems that the lawmakers are ignoring the fact that a lot of the state population lives in rural areas. In fact, nationally, around 85 million people live in rural areas. While there are several benefits of living in such areas, the possibility of having a stroke, work accident or a burn is still there. With not many hospitals in rural areas, especially specialized ones, the residents are at risk of not having adequate care when time demands it. Thus far, the air ambulance industry has been bridging this gap. However, this might change soon.

Air Ambulance Industry will be Affected

In case the legislation is enacted, it might be unviable for the air ambulance industry to run its branches in rural communities. The reason is straightforward. The legislation can place a lot of power in the insurance industry’s hand. They will have the absolute say in how much the air ambulance industry can charge for its services. This will happen regardless of the cost incurred by medical flight service providers.

The Claim Denials Rates are High

It is no secret that the insurance industry often denies claims. The reasons range from policy types to medical necessity. When it comes to the air ambulance industry, the first-time claim denial rates are about 50 percent, reveal experts. Yet, the onus seems to be only on the medical flight companies to make the service affordable. It has also come to light that there have been no meaningful discussions between the two industries to come to an agreeable price point. In this context, it must be noted that the reimbursement rates have remained unchanged for over a decade now.

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