Montana family sues air ambulance company after receiving $109k bill

A Montana family filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against Reach Air Medical Services after receiving a $109,000 bill for transporting their 6-year-old son 535 miles, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

In August 2015, a physician at Bozeman (Mont.) Health Deaconess Hospital recommended Stan and Rainy Wagner have their son immediately transported to a children's hospital in Denver to receive care for his life-threatening brain tumor.

The Wagners allege that Reach Air Medical Services failed to include the cost of the medical trip in a contract they agreed to.

In February 2016, the Wagners received a bill from Reach Air Medical Services, which included a $175 per mile charge on top of a $15,965 base rate. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, the family's insurer, paid $22,933 of the bill and charged the family $40,057.

"The amount sought ... exceeds reasonable amounts typically charged in Montana for similar air-ambulance transport and the charges do not represent the reasonable worth of the services rendered," the family's attorneys wrote in the filing, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

The Wagners want the air ambulance company to specify billing rates in the contracts prior to providing services or charge a more reasonable rate.

On Friday, a Reach Air Medical Services representative declined the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's request for comment on the legal filing. 

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