Minnesota lawmakers call for greater transparency of air ambulance prices

Minnesota lawmakers are seeking more transparency from air ambulance companies about the prices of their rides, according to the Post Bulletin.

The effort is aimed at preventing patients from receiving unexpected charges after an emergency air transport. 

State Rep. John Huot, D-Rosemount, told the Post Bulletin he wants to require air ambulance companies to post their prices to help patients avoid massive air ambulance bills right after they've been through a traumatic situation.

He filed a bill on the issue and has met with his colleagues in the legislature and air ambulance executives to get more insight on potential effects of such a requirement, the newspaper reported. He plans to revise the bill to account for input from healthcare stakeholders, including air ambulance companies, insurers, patients and medical experts.

Air ambulance company executives so far have expressed concerns, according to the Post Bulletin. They told Mr. Huot the key issue in addressing surprise air ambulance bills has been that insurers have denied claims for emergency transport, saying the rides weren't preauthorized or weren't necessary.

Minnesota's proposed transparency approach comes as states have been limited in how to address surprise air ambulance bills because under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, air ambulances are considered air carriers, and states cannot regulate the amount air carriers can charge for rides.

 

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