Starting August, the cost of getting air ambulance transport will become much more expensive in Travis County. On Tuesday June 20, the Travis County Commissioner’s Court gave authority to STAR Flight to make revisions to their current reimbursement practice. According to STAR Flight officials, this need for revision came about because they need to recover costs resulting from the existing low reimbursement rate.
Base rate for Air Ambulance Transport to Change after Revision
After the revision of the current reimbursement practice, the air ambulance base rate will change. This is the main reason why the cost will increase. The new base rate will be set at $200 per mile or $15,500. As a result of this base rate change, Travis County residents will likely see an $11,00 increase in cost for an air ambulance.
For Travis County residents, the current base rate stands at $4,500. For patients who aren’t residents of Travis County, the base rate is $9,500. In each case, the rate per mile is $165. Starting from August 1, the revision will take effect and STAR Flight will follow the new base rate system of $200 per mile or $15,500.
More Details about the Revision
The fees revision will also bring about several other changes in addition to the base rate increase. After the revision, STAR Flight will only issue a bill in cases where a patient has been transported to a hospital. They will not issue a charge for other instances like response, law enforcement, search and rescue, or fire suppression.
For example, if someone gets rescued in a flood situation and is dropped off with law enforcement, family, or EMS; they will not get billed. And in spite of this revision, STAR Flight will still make accommodations in case of patients who can’t afford the air ambulance transport cost.