The Michigan House Insurance Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation authored by State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain which requires air ambulance operations to give nonemergency patients a notice to be signed before sending an air ambulance, to discuss all methods of transportation and costs. Many times, patients are transported to hospitals by air ambulance without having a say and without knowing the costs. LaFave says a lot of times, Yoopers are airlifted to Green Bay or Milwaukee for surgeries.
Air ambulance companies currently participate in “balance billing” where the patient’s health care provider will pay for a portion of the bill, but not its entirety. This leaves patients with medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars.
LaFave says nothing is more devastating to patients and families of patients when that $17,000 medical bill from being airlifted to the hospital shows up at the doorstep. He says his bill will allow nonemergency patients to be informed of the costs of medical transportation before they are transported, giving them the option to consider being transported by a cheaper method.
House Bill 5219 now moves to the full House for consideration.