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Should Opting for Medical Flights be the Sole Discretion of the Physicians?


Paul Vinci who is from Idaho recently had a bout of septic pancreatitis. He was in a parking lot when he experienced severe discomfort and had to be rushed to the hospital. There, it was reported that Paul had severe infection of the pancreas, which was spreading to the entire body through infected blood. He needed immediate medical attention in a more equipped medical facility and medical flights were being considered. It was estimated that ground transport vehicles would take about 6 hours to reach the nearest appropriate treating facility while medical flights usually only took about half an hour. The choice was obvious for Paul; he was going to take the medical flight.

The Cost of Medical Flights Can be Unpredictable Learnt Paul

The hospital immediately stabilized Paul enough so that he could take the air ambulance. He was treated extensively in the receiving hospital and was released after several days of treatment. It did not end there for Paul; he had to visit the hospital several times after. Once he was completely stable, he returned home and had to get on with sorting the claims, reimbursements and other financial details pertaining to his treatment. That’s when he found an unpleasant surprise waiting for him in the form of air ambulance bill.

Medical Flights Determine the Patient’s Condition

In Paul’s case, it seemed that it was the doctor’s call to opt for an air ambulance. However, his claim for medical flight was denied on the grounds that the insurance company found him stable enough to not warrant services of medical flights.

For any patient, this is obviously hard to understand as he had would have gone by the word of the treating physician and rightly so. The medical flight company had appealed against the decision twice and both times, it was denied. Paul was not given a listening ear by the air ambulance company. Now, as the last resort, he is appealing against the insurance company in the court of law.

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