Rep. Marshall leads effort to protect Kansas Patients
WASHINGTON D.C- Congressman Marshall has successfully led an effort to protect vulnerable patients from abusive behavior by air ambulance companies. In both Kansas and across the country emergency patients are being slammed with crippling and unforeseen bills from air ambulance companies who refuse to contract with the most common health insurance providers.
When driving is not quick enough for a patient in an emergency, one of three air ambulance companies are the only option for Kansans to get to the emergency treatment they need. But depending on which air ambulance company is called, the charge to the patient can vary by literally tens of thousands of dollars.
Just this year the Kansas Insurance Department has received more than 70 complaints from Kansans about air ambulance companies balance-billing more than $35,000 per emergency transport.
“For thirty years, I made patients and their care my top priority as a physician,” Marshall said. “These air ambulance operators who refuse to contract with hospitals or insurance companies are conning vulnerable patients. Leaving them in a position of choosing lifesaving care or an uncovered bill that could bankrupt them. This is simply unacceptable and immoral.”
Congressman Marshall’s bipartisan letter asked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act to include provisions authored by Rep. Woodall (R-GA) that work to address these egregious concerns.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference report today, which included a great first step in addressing this issue. The legislation establishes an air advisory committee to focus on improving transparency and protecting consumers and allows the Department of Transportation to investigate and shut down unfair air ambulance practices.
“I was proud to see the conference report retain provisions that protect these patients, however this issue is far from rectified, and I look forward to continuing to advocate on their behalf,” Marshall said.