In Florida, there is a no-fault auto insurance law that restricts the amount paid for emergency services in the event of an emergency. One air-ambulance firm, Air Methods Corp., has taken issue with this and moved to legally bill the father of a child rushed to the hospital with its services for services rendered.
According to the news, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to allow the firm to bill the child’s dad, even though the costs exceed the limits set by the state’s no-fault system.
The ruing is based on the fact that federal airline deregulation laws stop states from limiting the prices that air carriers can charge. This hurts patients who use air-ambulance services, though, since they’re not protected by the no-fault system. The system is currently designed to prevent medical providers from billing policyholders in excessive amounts, but it does not stop air carriers from charging what they wish.
In Florida, emergency ambulance providers are required by law to transport those who need medical attention. They’re entitled to ask for a reasonable fee to do so. The carrier had no choice but to take a badly injured child to the hospital with its services, but it alleged it was not offered a fee that was reasonable based on the current restrictions by the no-fault system. The court agreed, and it will allow the company to charge the family of the child the excess $17,400 not yet paid.
Companies need to protect their right to a profit, just as patients need to be treated fairly. It’s your right as a business owner to make sure things are done by the book.
Source: Orlando Weekly, “Court backs Florida air-ambulance firm in fight over child’s $28k helicopter bill,” Jim Saunders, May 09, 2018