Helicopter cost impact for injured and industry

The Obama administration has sought to reduce the budget deficit by targeting Medicare and Medicaid subsidized healthcare through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With the high cost of air medical transport.   Costs can range from $12,000 to $25,000 per flight. Typically, a helicopter is summoned by a first responder who feels the patient needs require helicopter transport. Of course, the injured at this point have no say in what is being done and there is no thought about cost. An unfortunate incident can leave a family faced with whopping bills they have no means of paying. Many hospitals took on a helicopter to increase their sphere of influence when Medicare decided to pay for helicopter transport. Many years ago, it was thought that 250 helicopter services could take care of the needs of the country. Today there are about 850 services across the country. Having recently experienced a service providing me need health supplies, deciding to suddenly discontinue my product which by the way, was a life-sustaining product, I wonder how Medicare insurance pay outs will affect the industry.

Some doctors are seriously questioning the use of helicopters and expense. A helicopter may not always be the fastest way to get to a hospital because they can’t always land close by.  Is anyone tracking fees on a national level and evaluating the real need for transport and the impact on survivability of the injured?   At the same time that all of this is going on, there is a movement afoot to cut Social Security that Americans have spent a life time paying into.

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