Medical Helicopter Gouging in New York

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Medical Helicopter Gouging in New York

New postby dave » Mon May 02, 2016 10:57 pm

There is a story in the Adirondacks that a couple was charged $59,999.00 by LifeNet to fly them from Saranac Lake to Burlington. It was a 25 minute flight.

Another woman from New Paltz had a motorcycle accident in the Catskill Mountains and was charged $36,646.00 by Air Methods. The woman was an attorney and counter-sued them when she learned that the helicopter took longer to get her to medical care then by going in a regular ambulance.

There are many horrible stories involving for-profit helicopter companies in New York.

LifeNet is a subsidiary of Air Methods. Air Methods is a Colorado company that is listed on the Nasdaq. It should be noted that LifeNet is rarely part of most healthcare insurance companies in New York, so the charges are often "Out of Network". Air Methods list themselves as "Air Carriers", so that are not regulated like most Medical helicopters that are certified by the DoH, and can charge victims whatever they want. It is a huge loop hole. It should also be noted that the NY State Police also have a helicopter, and when it is available, there is no charge for flights. The issue is that you don't know which one you will get.

It should be noted that in the State of Maryland, all medivac helicopters fly victims without a charge. Maryland has 7 stations with helicopters and planes for medical emergencies. The Maryland DMV charges each person a $17 per year for their vehicle registration that is earmarked for this purpose. Unfortunately, we don't have this in New York.

The New York State Insurance Department stated that people who feel they have been victimized by a helicopter company can appeal the charges. The Affordable Care Act provides a process of appealment for charges by "Out-of-Network" providers. You can request an independent arbitrator to appeal the out-of-network charges.

If you are injured in the Catskill Mountains, you need to ask questions if someone wants to transport you to the hospital by helicopter. You have the legal right to refuse the helicopter.
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Re: Medical Helicopter Gouging in New York

New postby mike » Wed May 04, 2016 8:52 pm

I think that you can take a 30 minute helicopter ride in Las Vegas for a couple hundred dollars. Sounds like severe gouging by Air Methods.
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Re: Medical Helicopter Gouging in New York

New postby bikenhike » Tue May 10, 2016 10:49 am

Sad what is happening in our country. If you can't get rich from doing business honestly, then let's resort to gouging and cheating. If I'm unconscious I guess I will not have a choice. But, otherwise I'll just refuse to go via air.
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