The law makers and air ambulance companies seem to be on logger heads in recent times, the main point of controversy being billing practices of the medical flight industry. As more and more people are being compelled to foot balance bills, there is public outrage and in most cases (not entirely justifiably) against air ambulance organizations. The world seems to be turning a blind eye to the fact that insurance payers have not changed their reimbursement rate models for over two decades. The recent attempt by law makers has been to ban medical flight companies from charging the balance bills to the end consumers.
The Sentiment Against Air Ambulance Companies
There is a widespread belief that air ambulance companies remain out of insurance networks on their own volition to extract maximum out of their services and to keep the option of balance billing open. However, medical flight industry experts beg to differ. They say that the reason behind opting out of such networks is because the insurance companies can then compel them to conform to a payment model that does not compensate them adequately.
Patients Leveraged to Extract Better Charges
There is also an allegation that the air ambulance companies charge steep for a purpose. It is to extract maximum out of insurance reimbursements and with the patient having to pay the balance, insurance companies are compelled to pay more. The remaining bill, while charged to the patients, is then negotiated to a lesser amount eventually. Again, the air ambulance industry refutes these allegations saying that the payouts by insurance companies barely cover their costs, let alone the profits. They also bring to the fore the expenses of maintaining an air ambulance fleet.
At the moment, the move to ban air ambulance companies from charging balance bill is still in the process. Only time will tell what the outcome will be.