It is a no brainer – people often rely on air ambulance services during emergencies such as accidents, labor and other medical emergencies. They play a huge role in the lives of rural residents of the United States. However, lawmakers in Minnesota are now tackling a different kind of problem. Reports of exorbitant pricing which amount to more than USD 10,000 have not gone well with them. More so because this amount is not covered by the insurance providers and the burden is transferred to the patients themselves.
A Representative Seeks Transparency in Pricing of Air Ambulance Services
It was representative, John Huot, D-Rosemount, who has raised the issue of transparency. He has sought to know the costs involved with each flight. In fact, he has passed a bill that would compel air ambulance services to make the costs public. The move comes from the belief that air ambulance companies charge the end customers arbitrarily as a federal legislation prevents the state from regulating their prices. Huot had filed the bill at the end of the year’s legislative session. It is, therefore, going to be over 5 months before the bill is finally discussed next year.
Discussions Pertaining to the Costs are On
Hout has sought to meet all stakeholders in air ambulance services to understand the cost implications. This includes industry experts, patients, insurance providers and medical experts. Although the existing Federal law prevents the states from regulating the prices, there is nothing that stops medical flight companies from making their rates public.
There are some arguments that are surfacing against this move. Some say that the quality of care will come down as medical flight companies try to cut costs by compromising on it. The real intent of the move, however, is to bring a sense of healthy competition based on price as well as transparency in pricing.