REACH Air Medical Services is facing a class action lawsuit filed by a Gallatin County family claiming they were overcharged for the provider’s services. REACH helped transport the family’s 6-year-old son, a brain tumor patient, to Denver. The family has claimed that the air ambulance company failed to tell them about the cost of the flight beforehand and now they’ve been overcharged.
Lawsuit Classified as Class Action
The plaintiffs are Stan and Rainy Wagner. They will be represented by Bozeman-based attorneys Margaret Weamer, Daniel Buckley, Matt Kelly, and Travis Kinzler. These attorneys have classified the lawsuit as a class action so they can also help other air ambulance patients to seek damages if they’ve been in a similar situation.
Air medical services in Montana are now facing close scrutiny after the new legislation that prevents air ambulance providers from overcharging their customers/patients. Representatives for REACH, however, have declined to comment on the filing as of now because they haven’t had a chance to review the case yet.
More than $100,000 Charged for Air Medical Services
According to the lawsuit, the Wagners’ 6-year-old son was diagnosed with brain tumor in 2015. The pediatricion recommended that the family immediately transport him for treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Denver.
While the Wagners agreed to use the services provided by REACH, they hadn’t been informed about the cost of the one-way flight in their contract. February of the next year, they received a bill of $109,590, comprising of a $15,965 base rate along with a charge of $175 per mile.
While their insurance company BlueCross BlueShield of Montana ended up paying $22,933 on their behalf, the family was still charged with $40,057 that reflected a lower per-mile rate than before. According to this new bill, the Wagners had to pay $81.96 per mile for the 535 miles flown.