Valley Med Flight of North Dakota has sued the state of North Dakota for trying to implement a law that would regulate the air ambulance service prices. North Dakota Department of Health and Workforce Safety and Insurance has been at the receiving end of this lawsuit. The air ambulance service, on its behalf, has said that the new law tries to override the federal law that deregulates air ambulance industry. According to the federal law, the routes, prices, and services of an air ambulance service cannot be regulated.
US DoT is with the Air Ambulance Service
Department of Transportation of the country has always maintained that air ambulance service regulation will result in overriding of the federal law and has reiterated the fact again. In fact, lawyer belonging to US DoT Jesse Riddle went on to say, “We think North Dakota has exceeded the bounds of the law.”
Although North Dakota had not directly regulated the prices, it is trying to impose certain restrictions that would indirectly regulate the prices through House Bill 1255. If passed the bill would allow insurance carriers to set the prices for air ambulance services.
Air Ambulance Service Prices have been on an Upswing
It is no secret that the prices of air ambulance service have constantly been rising. Patients usually do not have a say in choosing air ambulances during emergencies. However, when an air medical transport cost goes uncovered by insurance, the burden is too huge to bear for the victims.
There have been cases in the past where people have filed for bankruptcy due to their inability to pay air ambulance service costs. House Bill 1255 has already been passed in the House and the Senate and if becomes a law, it could be the first in the country that regulates air ambulance service. However, legal experts opine that it is highly unlikely that this bill will see the light of day.