Air Methods Blog 

 

Florida must protect air medical services

by Air Methods | Jun 26, 2020

Air medical services have always been crucial to providing prehospital emergency care to patients in dire need. During this unprecedented pandemic, these transports are even more critical.

Florida is one of many states currently seeing a spike in COVID-19 and patients in rural areas count on air ambulances to get them to the care they need. Transfers between hospitals via air transport is also more important than ever as patients are moved to facilities where there are enough beds and staff.

Air Methods has bases throughout Florida, and is working hard to go in-network with insurance companies in order to take patients out of the billing process. We are incredibly proud to be in-network with Florida Blue, and we see how it has directly benefited our patients by simplifying their billing process and lowering their out-of-pocket costs.

However, there is still work to be done in Florida. A state bill (HB747) puts patients at risk of losing life-saving healthcare resources like air medical services. Dr. Charles Sand, who is an emergency and EMS physician in West Central Florida and the medical director of Air Methods’ AirLife and LifeNet helicopters, recently wrote an appeal directly to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. In it, he humbly asks that the governor vetoes HB747.

HB747 was pushed through the Legislature unilaterally by insurers who claimed, without any supporting public health data, that air medical services are not that necessary and can easily be trimmed from Florida’s health care system — more importantly, from insurers’ own balance sheets. This simply isn’t true.

Dr. Sand’s op-ed was published in the Orlando Sentinel on June 25. You can read the full article here.

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