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Saturday, September 24, 2016

$55K Air Transport Bill Raises Industry Concerns; Local Family Hopes ‘Price Gouging At Its Worst’ Will Raise Awareness

BERLIN — When a Berlin child with a critical illness was flown to a Baltimore hospital last October, her parents did not know that 45-minute flight was the beginning of a nearly year-long journey including a battle with the private sector air ambulance service over exorbitant fees and a multi-pronged effort at reform.

Last Oct. 10, life changed quickly for Berlin residents Steve and Jayme Isett when the couple’s then-5-year-old daughter Sarah was flown from Atlantic General in Berlin to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in critical condition with acute renal failure. Sarah was taken to AGH when she complained of not feeling well and after a battery of tests on the child, it was determined she needed specialized care for a critical condition provided by only a handful of hospitals in the region.

In order for Sarah to receive immediate healthcare from a pediatric nephrologist, the emergency room doctor at AGH made arrangements with the private-sector Air Methods Corporation to fly the child via helicopter to Hopkins in Baltimore. Hopkins Hospital’s regular non-profit vendor was on another call and not available, so the AGH doctor made arrangements with Air Methods to transport Sarah to Baltimore in those critical, but potentially life-changing moments.

What the Isetts didn’t know in those critical moments is that the 45-minute helicopter flight from Berlin to Baltimore would cost them $55,000, or roughly the same amount as her entire three-week stay at Hopkins including the operating room and the intensive care unit.



Anonymous said...

We should expose who owns this company?

Anonymous said...

Air Methods Corporation provides air medical transportation services throughout the United States It is publicly owned.
While we call Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado home, our operations expand from Alaska to Key West. Currently, we have more than 300 bases of operations that serve 48 states.

lmclain said...

Well, thanks.
Would you also anonymously tell us how you got to the $55,000 figure for a 45 minute flight?
Are you also somehow affliated with the EpiPen people?
Or is that figure your starting negotiating point for the insurance claims?
And we know you are also perfectly willing to bankrupt those people for the money.
A citizen is not allowed, by law, to extort someone in an emergency, as in, "I'll jump in the pool and save your kid if you'll pay me $20,000! Hurry! Decide!".
How is charging someone in a medical emergency $55,000 differ from that in any real sense?
And, lastly, when you do these flights for a middle class person, do you believe they have $55,000 just laying around? Wow.
Sounds like it could be a Mafia front to me.
You do your own "collections", too??

Concerned Retiree said...

2:16 reply gives the impression they own / part owner / investor. Their statement does not deny they rip off families in time of need and could care less. They appear by the answer they have the same theory as the EPI-PEN makers and have no conscience. They are no better than a con - artist. Why does AG even deal with this business knowing their tactics? AG must be getting a helluva kickback.