In another case of air medical transport cost turning out to be unbearable, Toby Sidlo of Kauai has filed a class-action lawsuit after he received a $36,000 bill. In the Hawaiian Islands, air medical transport is often a necessity as patients have to be flown from one island to another. It is common for patients to be transported to the capital, Honolulu as most islands do not have necessary medical facilities.
The Charges of Air Medical Transport Vary Depending on the Company
Hawaii Life Flight and AMR Air Hawaii are the two major air medical transport companies that operate in the region. While Hawaii Life Flight claims that it only charges standard industry rates. The charges are believed to have skyrocketed after its merger with AirMed Hawaii back in the year 2010. An emergency air medical transport from Hilo to Oahu can cost a whopping $54,000 as the company charges a base rate of $16,000 and the mileage charge comes to $54,000.
AMR Air Hawaii covers the same distance for a base rate of $14,000 and additional $25 per mile, taking the total charge of air medical transport to $20,000. Unfortunately for Toby Sidlo, the doctors had chosen Hawaii Life Flight.
The Air Medical Transport Bill has Resulted in a Class-Action Lawsuit
Toby had initially fallen into a bonfire sustaining injuries that required him to be transported to Honolulu for adequate treatment. However, he has filed a class-action lawsuit after receiving the huge air medical transport bill.
In the lawsuit, Toby has held the Kaiser doctor responsible for making the decision to opt for Hawaii Life Flight. Kaiser, however, has refrained from commenting on the issue as the litigation is still pending in the court. On their part, doctors have said that it is not their responsibility to check the cost of air medical transport during emergencies. It is always the first available air medical transport company that they look at.