North Dakota Passes Law to Prevent Price Gouging by Air Ambulance Companies

In yet another effort to curb exorbitant air ambulance fees, North Dakota legislators have passed a law to prevent charges by air ambulance companies that aren’t providers with major insurance companies. The bill, which is set to take effect on January 1, will make sure that non-participating air ambulance providers only charge the average fees charged by participating services.

Law Passed as Response to Sky-High Air Ambulance Fees

The Senate Bill 2231 was signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum on April 18. It was passed as a response to frequent complaints of staggering air ambulance charges averaging at nearly $60,000. According to Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, there has been a spike in complaints of late. And it’s a huge issue especially when the air ambulance provider doesn’t belong to any insurance network.

In such cases, the patients will be hit with exorbitant air ambulance fees and their insurers can’t do anything. Between 2013 and January 2017, there were 28 complaints submitted to the North Dakota Insurance Department against air ambulance companies. The air ambulance fees in this complaint amounted to $1.66 million.

Law to Affect Out-of-Network Air Ambulance Companies

A patient’s insurance does not cover air ambulance fees when the air ambulance provider doesn’t have an agreement with the insurer. And this becomes a huge issue because patients often have no choice in which provider they get. But with the new law, out-of-network air ambulance providers will be required to charge patients the average fees of participating companies.

Even in case of non-emergency transfers, hospitals will now need to notify the patients if the air ambulance provider is outside of their insurance network. This particular requirement will take effect starting August 1. With these new rules in place, patients in North Dakota will have a much better air ambulance experience.

Hospital Plans to Replace Old Air Ambulance Transport Helicopter

The Kalispell Regional Medical Center is still using a 17-year-old helicopter to carry out air ambulance transport. The helicopter operates under the hospital’s ALERT (Advanced Life Support and Emergency Rescue Team). And now the hospital is expressing their intention to purchase a new helicopter by the summer of 2017 to replace the aging helicopter.

High Maintenance and Repair Costs for Old Helicopter

According to statements made by Tagen Vine, who’s with the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the ALERT helicopter needs frequent and expensive maintenance due to its old age. In 2016 alone, the helicopter was grounded for 105 days because it needed either maintenance or repairs. And their expenses on this amounted to about $200,000.

A new helicopter will cost them approximately $4million. But there will be lower maintenance and repair costs. This means the hospital will be able to carry out crucial emergency transport service more efficiently. With the new helicopter, the hospital intends to improve the quality of service they provide.

New Air Ambulance Transport Helicopter to Prevent High Air Ambulance Fees

The Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s air ambulance helicopter is nonprofit and serves the Northwest Montana region. Since the ALERT helicopter is frequently down for repairs, the hospital often leases helicopters from private services. And this results in high air ambulance costs, which they plan to prevent with the help of a new helicopter.

In addition to the high lease costs, the need for a new air ambulance transport helicopter arose due to the new rules implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration. Although their current ALERT helicopter meets the new regulations, the hospitals leased from private services do not. This means if their helicopter is down for repairs, they won’t be able to provide any sort of service to patients in need.

Wales Air Ambulance Acquires New Custom-Built Medical Flight Helicopter

Wales Air Ambulance is planning to set up a new fleet of medical flight helicopters that have been custom built. And they have just taken possession of the first helicopter for this fleet. The helicopter is an advanced Airbus H145 model and has been customized with upgrades for their service. Two more helicopter upgrades will be introduced within this year in order to enhance their operations.

Wales Air Ambulance to have the Largest H145 Fleet in the UK

Wales Air Ambulance joins two other UK-based helicopter emergency medical services in using the H145 aircraft for their operations. And if everything goes as planned and the two other helicopters are operational, the fleet will become the largest H145 fleet in the UK. Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore will be operating the fleet on behalf of Wales Air Ambulance.

New Helicopter Equipped with Enhanced Capabilities for Better Medical Flight

The H145 helicopters have the capability to carry out nighttime flights. This means the new fleet will help Wales Air Ambulance in fulfilling their goal of providing their service for 24 hours. In addition to night flying capabilities, the aircraft also has more powerful engines and larger cabin space. This means the helicopters will be able to carry out longer flights without the need to refuel. And there will be room for paramedics to carry out treatments.

These enhanced features will be able to improve the quality of medical flight provided by the charity. With continued fundraising efforts, Wales Air Ambulance will soon achieve the goal of providing 24-hour service to residents in the South Wales region. Two more H145 helicopters will replace the existing helicopters owned by the charity. But the fourth will remain an H135 dedicated to neonatal and pediatric care as well as adult transfers across Wales.

Colchester Half Marathon Helps Raise £60,000 for Air Ambulance Service

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance became the recipient of £60,000 in donations, raised through a half marathon. The half marathon took place in Colchester in March and nearly 3,000 people participated to do their part for the air ambulance service. The organizers of the half marathon have proclaimed this year’s marathon as the most successful one they’ve had.

Funds to Support 22 Missions for Essex and Herts

The funds raised through the Girffin Chapman Colchester Half Marathon will help the air ambulance charity in carrying out their missions across Essex and Hertfordshire as well as their surrounding areas. It is estimated that the amount is sufficient to fund at least 22 missions in the region. The Colchester Colne Round Table hosted this year’s event, which took place on March 12.

The event received massive support from residents of the areas serviced and almost 3,000 people took to the streets to show their support. The charity’s mascot Pilot Pete stood near the finish line, welcoming and cheering each and every runner who successfully crossed it.

Air Ambulance Service Expresses their Gratitude

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance’s fundraising manager, Sabi Stafford has expressed the charity’s appreciation towards everyone who participated in the event. The air ambulance service also had their own team of runners, which included staff and air crew as well as former patients of the charity and their families.

Stafford also stated how working with the Colchester Colne Round Table was such a pleasure. The charity also stated that there aren’t enough ways they could thank the round table for choosing Essex and Herts as their nominated charity. With the £60,000 raised through the half marathon, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance will be able to save more lives and transport patients living in the Essex and Hertfordshire regions.

South Central Air Ambulance Service Paramedics Now Equipped with Live Streaming Cameras

Paramedics working at the South Central Air Ambulance Service have now been equipped with cameras for live streaming. These cameras are aimed at enhancing the quality of emergency service provided by the air ambulance company. Along with the paramedics, local hospital consultants at the Thames Valley Air Ambulance will be equipped with the live streaming cameras.

What it Means for the Air Ambulance Service

With this new equipment, the service’s clinical coordination center under the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service desk will be able to view the live footage when an emergency air ambulance team responds to an incident. This will assist in better coordination between the HEMS team and the air ambulance crew.

By actually seeing the patient, the HEMS will be able to provide more accurate advice. As a result of this, the air ambulance team will be able to save plenty of time especially in life-threatening emergency cases. And this will in turn improve the quality of service they provide.

Other Benefits of Live Streaming Cameras

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, live streaming cameras have plenty of other benefits for an air ambulance service. For example, it can be an effective training aid for paramedics and doctors who are just beginning their service in the air ambulance industry. It could provide the service with the ability to review selected cases and apply certain improvements to their procedures.

They can also help the HEMS staff to arrange for any crucial medical supplies that might be needed for restocking the air ambulance. For example, a live feed of the incident might be able to tell them whether they need to pre-order items like plasma packs, which have been used to treat the patient. Doing so will help them prepare ahead for the air ambulance’s next mission.

Cornwall Air Ambulance Celebrates 30 Years of Medical Flight Service

On April 6, Cornwall Air Ambulance celebrated 30 years of providing medical flight service. The charity celebrated its anniversary with 200 crew, staff, and volunteers as well as patients who have been served by their air ambulance. The first pilot for Cornwall Air Ambulance, Geoff Newman and the first paramedic, Paul Westaway were also part of the service.

First Medical Flight Service in the U.K

Cornwall Air Ambulance was the first air ambulance provider in the U.K. Since their establishment 30 years ago, they have inspired 20 other providers to save lives through medically-equipped flights. The emergency service receives funding from the residents of Cornwall and completes around 700 missions every year.

Since its launch in 1987, Cornwall Air Ambulance has completed in excess of 26,300 missions. To celebrate their 30th year of service, the charity launched the “30 for 30” campaign to raise funds. The goal of this campaign is to encourage people to participate in fundraising events centered on the number 30. For instance, people could raise funds by going on a 30km run or volunteering for 30 hours.

Cornwall Air Ambulance Continues to Grow

During the anniversary celebration, Geoff Newman and Paul Westaway shared their stories and how they decided to begin the charity. Paul Martin, CEO of the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, took the time to thank the two men who pioneered a medical flight service in the U.K. Since their launch, the charity has experienced massive growth and intends to further enhance the quality of their service.

Their future growth plans include investing in a next generation aircraft to carry out emergency flights. The charity also aims to provide outstanding emergency care to their patients during the first few hours of the incident, which can be crucial for saving lives.

UCX MedFlight to Launch Global Air Ambulance Services

US-based air ambulance company UCX MedFlight has made an announcement that they will be launching global air ambulance services. In their announcement, they stated that this launch will cause a “disruption” to the fixed-wing air ambulance industry. They’re set to bring the much-needed changes to the industry. The launch is expected to take place in February of next year.

UCX MedFlight to Address Needs of Fixed-Wing Air Ambulance Industry

According to UCX MedFlight, the fixed-wing air ambulance industry is in dire need of changes that will “disrupt” the status quo. Their organization intends to bring about these changes with fresh ideas and new technology. They intend to be pioneers in developing the current standing of global air ambulance services.

In a statement made by the firm, UCX MedFlight talked about how the fixed-wing air ambulance industry is currently stuck following old routines that are inefficient. They also talked about how the technologies being used in the industry are dated and no longer reliable. The industry has a long history of unreliability, which has resulted in the frustration of patients and their families as well as caregivers and hospital case managers.

The unreliability of the fixed-wing air ambulance industry also affects travel assistance companies and insurance companies as well. Non-transparent billing services, lack of customer service, and inconsistency in training are inherently common in the industry. And UCX MedFlight aims to change that.

Better Global Air Ambulance Services with UCX MedFlight

The UCX MedFlight team has described themselves as one of the most trusted companies in the air ambulance industry. Compared to others in the fixed-wing air ambulance industry, they will be able to fly faster and father for lesser cost. The company is set for rapid expansion and intends to increase their staffing extensively by February 2019.

REACH Medical Air Services to Open Base in Napa

REACH Air Medical Services have made an announcement that they will be opening a new base in Napa County. The medical air services company is currently headquartered in Santa Rosa, California. The new base will be located at the county’s airport. And their 24/7 service will begin from April 2017. REACH Air Medical Services will provide transportation by air ambulance to patients in the surrounding counties.

REACH and its Outstanding Growth

REACH Air Medical Services provides emergency medical transport via air and ground ambulances throughout California. Their services also span across other regions like Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming. Their medical air services have been operating since 1987, during which they have successfully transported in excess of 135,000 patients.

Their superior quality service has earned them a Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems accreditation. The parent company of REACH Air Medical Services is REACH Medical Holdings, which also owns other companies like Cal-Ore Life Flight, CALSTAR Air Ambulance, and Sierra Lifeflight.  REACH Medical Holdings also takes care of the aircraft maintenance for 7 hospitals and EMS agency programs.

REACH Air Medical Services carry out their transportation using an EC135 helicopter that’s been equipped for medical transportation. The aircraft is attended to by a team of nurses and paramedics specially trained to oversee medical flights. The team provides critical care on board the aircraft, ensuring that critically ill or injured patients are safely transported.

Medical Air Services through AirMedCare

REACH is also part of the AirMedCare Network, which is the largest air ambulance membership network in the country. The network provides memberships for $65 per year per household, which also covers the cost of emergency flights using REACH air ambulance. Members can also get transportation from one of the 265+ air base locations, which are part of the network.

Former Patient Prepares for Marathon to Thank Air Ambulance Service that Saved Her

A woman who has survived a freak fall is preparing to participate in a cycling marathon to help raise funds for the air ambulance service that came to her rescue. Karen Brooke suffered serious brain injuries when she slipped on ice two years ago. Luckily, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance responded immediately and transported her to Leeds General Infirmary for emergency treatment. She now wants to thank the air ambulance that helped save her life.

Karen to Participate in Pedal for Pounds to Support Air Ambulance Service

Karen Brooke had been a keen cyclist before her accident. And now the 51-year-old has signed up for the 8th annual Pedal for Pounds. Pedal for Pounds is a charity bike ride in which participants will have to cycle for 260 miles. The ride will occur on the “Wagner Way”, which starts from Dortmund, Germany and ends at Huddersfield.

Made by Cooper will be sponsoring the event. Pedal for Pounds is part of the joint “Keep It Up” campaign by Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Huddersfield Town Football Club. The campaign was launched in 2009 and has since resulted in more than £1.4 million raised. The funds raised through the campaign are equally split between the air ambulance service charity and the HTAFC’s Academy.

Karen’s Training Ongoing Despite Limited Movement

Karen’s accident caused life-changing injuries and limited her movement. Despite being able to walk only short distances using a stick, she has continued her training for the marathon. She hopes to be able to cover 20-30 miles of the route every day using a tandem that has been provided to her by the community cycling project of Streetbikes.

Streetbikes will also be providing Karen with co-riders for the marathon. She trains every day using her home static bike and trains every week with Streetbikes. She also undergoes swimming and physiotherapy sessions regularly.

Ex-Soldier Raises Funds for Medical Flight Service that Saved Friend’s Life

Adam White, a 36-year-old ex-military has raised thousands of pounds to donate to the air ambulance responsible for saving his friend’s life. The funds for the medical flight service were raised through a coast-to-coast run spanning across 300 miles. Adam began his run from St. David’s in Wales and finished in Skegness within a span of two weeks.

Funds for Medical Flight Service that Saved Friend’s Life

Adam decided to raise the funds for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, which saved his friend Jamie Broom’s life. 35-year-old Jamie was knocked unconscious when he fell down some stairs in 2016. The air ambulance airlifted him to a hospital, where an emergency surgery had to be performed to remove blood clot in his brain.

The two friends met in 1999 while serving in the British Army. Adam stated that the air ambulance played a crucial role in saving his friend’s life. So he wanted to do something to show his support for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance. That’s when the Long Eaton resident decided to go on the 300-mile run to collect donations.

Adam’s Run a Success

The ex-serviceman’s decision to go on the 300-mile run helped him gain focus while he’s fighting his battle against PTSD. In addition to raising funds for the medical flight service that saved his friend’s life, the run was intended to inspire people to gain physical and mental health through exercise. Adam successfully raised more than £3,600 through his Just Giving page.

Along with donations through his Just Giving page, Adam has received around £1,400 through separate donations. So in total, he has raised about £5,000 to help the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance with their air ambulance operations. The air ambulance charity’s community fundraiser, Karen Carter has expressed her gratitude towards Adam.