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Are Air Ambulance Companies Risking an Oversupply?


Many industry experts believe that there is an oversupply that has resulted from a host of air ambulance companies entering the healthcare market. This is an unprecedented situation where the only way to survive for these companies is to find patients. The number of situations that warrant medical flight services, however, are not high enough. All the while, as the air ambulance organizations seek business sitting idle, the associated costs shoot up. Hangars, technicians, paramedical staff, doctors, pilots, nurses and operational staff all cost money. These fixed expenses are to be incurred by the company regardless of whether they make business or not.

High Cost and Abundance of Air Ambulance Companies

It is widely believed that among the reasons for high price is the attempt of air ambulance companies to recover their expenses, not necessarily incurred as a result of transporting the patients, but maintaining their aircraft.

The oversupply of medical flights must ideally leave the patients a huge choice so that they can choose the most competitively priced ones; however, that is not the case presently. The nature of medical emergencies is usually such that there is no time to compare or even choose a particular service provider. The quickest available medical flight is invariably chosen.

Balance Bills are the Biggest Problem

The amount that is covered by insurance providers is just a fraction of what the air ambulance companies charge for their services. With the refusal of insurance companies to cover the amount entirely, they usually turn to the patients for the rest of the money. This is now causing uproar among general public. The insurance industry is blaming air ambulance companies for their high costs and the medical flight industry is blaming insurance companies for not having revised their reimbursement rates. The resolution to this problem, however, seems to be getting closer as lawmakers recently have shown a keen interest in the matter.

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