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Have the Big Air Ambulance Companies Reached their Growth Limits?

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Some of the air ambulance companies in the United States have grown at break-neck rates in the past 10 decades. Many analysts are now questioning whether the giant air ambulance companies have reached their maximum growth potential. For instance, the share prices of Air Methods have fallen over 37% in the last 12 months, although the profits have steadily risen.

Most experts attribute the fall in share prices to the constant negative press that large air ambulance companies have been getting. The problem has been the overcharging for services in some instances. Through public disclosures, it has been seen that Air Methods’ billing has shot up from an average of $13,198 to $40,766 from the year 2007 to 2014 while the net income in the same period has jumped from 27.5 million to 99.4 million. Other companies like AMGH, AMRG and PHI too have seen whopping jumps in their profits.

Air Ambulance Companies have been Increasingly Involved in Litigations

Another reason behind the opinion that the growth might slow down soon is the increasing number of litigations that air ambulance companies have been involved in. Most private player are free to charge huge amounts as air ambulance fees as there is no regulation that stops these air ambulance companies from fixing their own prices. In some cases, the only way to recover money has been to file law suits against the very same people’s lives that have been saved by the air ambulance companies. However, this strategy is backfiring as many state governments are now trying to intervene and set price barriers.

States are Trying to Regulate Air Ambulance Companies

North Dakota had earlier in the year passed a regulation that would compel air ambulance companies to be placed in priority call list. This means that health care providers would have to call the services of air ambulance companies from a list provided by the state. The list has been prepared taking the charges levied by these companies into consideration. Other states too are mulling similar legislations. If this becomes a norm, large air ambulance companies that own several choppers and charge high rates will see a dip in business.

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