MTPR

air ambulance

On a hot June day in Fort Scott, Kan., as the Good Ol' Days festival was in full swing, 7-year-old Kaidence Anderson sat in the shade with her family, waiting for a medevac helicopter to land.

A crowd had gathered to see the display prearranged by staff at the town's historic fort.

"It's going to show us how it's going to help other people because we don't have the hospital anymore," the redheaded girl explained.

A bill to address the high cost of air ambulance rides may not do anything if it passes in the state legislature. Because, as one lawmaker puts it, the proposed legislation may accomplish its goal even before it becomes law.

Lawmakers Consider Resolution To Help Curb Air Ambulance Costs

Feb 22, 2017
In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Senate Joint Resolution 13 resulted from an interim committee’s study that found prices for air ambulance services in the state were leaving patients bankrupt.

In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

On Wednesday, the first in a package of bills trying to address the high cost of air ambulances landed before lawmakers for a vote.

A line of people waiting to testify in support of removing balance billing for air ambulance rides in Montana.
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana lawmakers are trying to find a balance between the lifesaving air ambulance services, and the crippling debt those rides can bury patients in.

Two bills designed to help protect Montanans from unexpected and exorbitant air ambulance bills get their first hearings at the state legislature Tuesday.
(PD)

Two bills designed to help protect Montanans from unexpected and exorbitant air ambulance bills get their first hearings at the state legislature Tuesday.

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

Montana lawmakers are pushing forward to check the high medical costs passed on to patients by some air ambulance and insurance companies. But U.S. Senator Jon Tester says getting support from Congress is a hard sell.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A legislative committee today has agreed to sponsor two bills in the next legislative session related to air ambulance service in Montana.

Insurers, Air Ambulances Would Consider Rate Negotiation

May 25, 2016
Two bills designed to help protect Montanans from unexpected and exorbitant air ambulance bills get their first hearings at the state legislature Tuesday.
(PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana health insurance providers and representatives of air ambulance companies said Wednesday they would at least consider negotiations and possibly binding arbitration as a way to set acceptable rates and prevent air ambulance patients from being shocked by their bills.

In an effort to control prices on air ambulance rides in Montana, lawmakers are considering urging Congress to revise the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

An attempt to regulate air ambulance services supported by Democratic Senator Jon Tester struck out in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

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