Air Methods, February 28, 2020 - CHEYENNE, Wyoming - Air Methods, the leading air medical service provider, recently announced that it has agreed to an in-network contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming to provide its members with Air Methods’ critical care in the air services at discounted in-network rates.
“This agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming compliments the safe, high-quality care we deliver to patients in a medical emergency,” said Chris Myers Executive Vice President of reimbursement and strategic initiatives, “These agreements are crucial for giving patients peace of mind to focus on their recovery instead of bills.”
Meeting the need for increased access to in-network benefits
Air Methods’ goal is to be 100 percent in-network for all privately insured patients and is actively forging similar in-network partnerships to benefit its patients around the U.S. In-network coverage offers consumers a discounted, out-of-pocket payment for qualified services, which varies depending on their plan’s benefits. Staying in-network for healthcare services can help consumers avoid unexpected spending as well as balanced billing, which is the practice of the healthcare provider billing a patient for the difference between the plan’s reimbursement and the medical charges.
With this expansion, Air Methods in Wyoming is now in-network with close to 75% of the population, which includes commercial insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Throughout the United States, Air Methods now has 53 in-network commercial health plan agreements, and approximately 80 percent of the U.S. is covered for Air Methods’ services.
Expanding high-quality care access to rural regions
As hospitals across the country continue to be shuttered, access to care is a growing concern for many, especially those in rural areas. However, even in highly populated states, nearby emergency and specialty care are not always available.
Today, more than one-quarter of the American population (85 million residents) can only access a Level-1 or -2 trauma care facility within one hour if they are flown by air medical transportation. Air Methods eliminates those geographic obstacles while providing life-saving interventions during missions, such as clot-busting medications that must be given shortly after a major stroke to significantly improve outcomes, as well as trauma care after an accident.
The clinical teams flying on these missions also have the highest first-attempt success rates in the nation among their peers when performing prehospital intubations, which is an emergency medical procedure to open a patient’s airway when breathing is obstructed. Developed exclusively by Air Methods’ clinicians, this emergency process was recently published in the leading textbook for emergency medicine continuing education, Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) (9th Edition).
As Air Methods continues to work towards additional in-network agreements, its Patient Advocacy Program also supports patients with insurance bills when their air-medical care and transportation is an out-of-network benefit. Patient Advocates work on the patient’s behalf, especially as related to supporting them during insurance appeals and answering billing questions.
About Air Methods: Air Methods is the leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services.
United Rotorcraft is the Company’s products division specializing in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.