The cost of air medical flight has seen an increasing trend over the recent four years, according to a new study. In fact, taking the year 2017 as the base, private health insurers have seen a whopping 27% rise until the year 2020. This rise was seen mainly in fixed-wing air medical flight charges. The helicopters too saw a considerable increase but not so much so as fixed-wing air ambulances. The costs basically comprise of a fixed base fee and a mileage fee which increases with every mile that the patient travels in the medical flight.
Air Medical Flight Services were Used for Various Reasons
Far from popular perception, the highest use of fixed-wing air medical flight services was not related to COVID infections. Rather, it was to do with issues such as digestive problems, respiratory issues, circulatory problems, strokes, fractures and sprains. On the other hand, air ambulance helicopters were sought for ailments such as heart attacks, strokes, general bodily injuries, and head injuries. The report stated that the average reimbursements by Medicare grew only 4.7% in comparison to the rise in costs. They went from USD 3071 to USD 3216.
The States that Availed Air Ambulance Services the Highest
Alaska, due to its treacherous weather conditions and inaccessibility, was obviously the state that availed air medical flight services the highest. The other states that sought fixed-wing air ambulance services (in no particular order) were New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The report also shed light on the states that availed air medical flight services the least. These included Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Virginia.
When it came to air ambulance helicopters, Wyoming, West Virginia, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Idaho led the numbers. It must be noted that the likelihood of hospitalization in the patients transported through air medical flight services was quite high.