Air Methods has expressed overall support for legislation recently signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act that eliminates the practice of surprise air medical billings. However, the nation’s largest air ambulance provider expressed concern over some of the details.
"One key concern for Air Methods is the possibility of tying reimbursements to a median in-network rate that uses inaccurate benchmarks and does not adequately compensate emergency air medical companies for their services," the air medical provider said. "It is also important that this legislation does not nullify the great gains we have made in reaching in-network agreements with many payers around the country, which has made a huge impact on taking patients out of the middle of the billing process. We also strongly support policies that promote more robust data collection, which will allow for fair in-network reimbursement rates.”
Air Methods again called on three of the nation’s largest health insurers to negotiate in-network agreements and renewed its criticism of “memberships” sold by competitors. “We encourage the largest national insurance companies—UnitedHealthCare, Cigna, and Aetna—to come back to the table to resume negotiations with Air Methods to secure in-network partnerships. If they agree to fair reimbursement rates, then Air Methods will be nearly 100 percent in-network for all our commercially insured patients,” the company said.