According to Virginia’s Legislative Information System, the state has recently passed, ‘HB 777 Emergency air medical transportation; informed decision’. According to this bill, introduced by Delegate Margaret B. Ransone, informed consent of the patient becomes necessary before the healthcare personnel call for air ambulance flights. However, emergency medical professionals would be exempt from this requirement in situations where the patient’s life is at stake. The emergency medical professionals would be under no obligation to choose air ambulance flights that are in the patient’s insurance network as their primary goal would be the patient’s life.
What Does the Regulation Mean for the Patients?
The patients can now consciously evaluate their options and ask for the information pertaining to air ambulance flights before they choose one. There would be a degree of obligation on the part of medical professionals to facilitate such information. The patients have an opportunity to look for air ambulance flights that are covered by their health insurance carrier. This would enable them to steer clear of the huge service bills that usually accompany air ambulance flights. The move might eventually force insurance providers to remain more competitive and provide better coverage.
The Obligation to Pay for Air Ambulance Flights
The bill also says that, since the patient makes an informed decision, he or she would be entirely responsible to foot the bill that accompanies air ambulance flights. It clearly states that the patient would be entirely responsible for payment of the dues that arise from emergency air ambulance flights.
It is vital that patients are mindful of the air ambulance service provider that they choose. Giving an informed consent to hire the services of out of coverage air ambulance flights can prove expensive. Of course, the patient might not be able to make such a decision at all during certain emergencies; however, a situation like that does not exempt the patient from the monetary obligations.