There have been several incidents wherein air ambulance companies overcharge their clients. Adding to that news, more than a dozen clients in Oklahoma who were victims of overcharging have appealed to a judge in order to turn their lawsuit into a class action. The clients are being represented by attorneys Ed White and Noble McIntyre, who submitted the request to the judge on their clients’ behalf.
Patients Billed Thousands of Dollars for Transport by Air Ambulance
One of the clients is Tommy Wade, former basketball coach for Oklahoma State Buckeyes. He was flown by an air ambulance last year because he had a heart attack. The flight from Stillwater to Oklahoma City took 20 minutes and he was billed $38,000. His insurance paid whatever amount they felt was sufficient, yet the company continues to bill Wade for the remaining amount.
Four Air Ambulance Companies Named as Defendants
The lawsuit has named four air ambulance companies as defendants – EagleMed LLC, Air Evac EMS, Inc., Rocky Mountain Holdings, and Air Methods Corporation. According to White, these companies are making profit margins higher than 750%.
EagleMed released a statement saying that they’re still looking into the allegations and the company prefers not to discuss the ongoing petition. The statement also mentioned that the company only has the initially filed petition and nothing else. EagleMed is in network with Oklahoma’s largest insurer – Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Air Evac EMS also released a similar statement about how the company is still looking into the allegations and how they prefer not to discuss the ongoing litigation. The company also mentioned how they weren’t sure why they were sued, as the only claim against them is for transporting a patient with work-related injuries. Air Evac EMS stated that they expected the cost of treatment and air ambulance transport would have been covered by workers’ compensation without any financial responsibility for the patient.