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Air ambulances; financial burden soon could be lifted


Date: July 11, 2016
Source: KTVH
Author:  Sara Stinson


(MTN News – Helena) An air ambulance working group is drafting legislation to make sure patients aren’t left with a balance bill after using any life flight service.

The Legislative Economic Affairs Interim Committee appointed the group to come up with a solution after Montanans complained about receiving bills racking up to thousands of dollars.

The working group includes members of air ambulance providers, insurance companies and even consumers of the service.

The draft legislation being discussed would require out of network providers to negotiate with insurance companies, leaving the patient out of it.

Montana State Auditor’s Office Chief Counsel Jesse Laslovich sits as the chair of the working group.

Laslovich said after talking with all parties, the draft legislation will need some work, but as long as the patient stays “harmless” they are headed in the right direction.

“It’s not enough for us to say we’re going to ignore this and handle these on a case by case basis where these families are miserable not just because of the health scare, but now because of the financial scare,” explained Laslovich.

In August the air ambulance working group will meet for the last time. Laslovich will present the drafted legislation to the Economic Affairs Committee later that month.