Study Criticizes High Costs Of Air Ambulances In Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A state report says sick or injured Missourians who need air ambulance services often face steep medical bills, even if they have insurance.

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration issued a report Tuesday detailing the high costs and sometimes aggressive collection efforts patients face if they can’t pay.

Air ambulances billed Missourians nearly $26 million for services in 2017, leaving patients with $12.4 million in bills after coinsurance, copays and deductibles. The report says that equates to an average cost of $20,000 per person.

The Association of Critical Air Transport, which includes air and ground ambulance providers, said in a statement that it was concerned about the exorbitant bills. It supports federal legislation that would improve consumer protections for air ambulance patients.