Important work of air medical services needs support

During Memorial Day weekend, millions of Americans will be traveling around the country, enjoying time with friends and family. However, increased roadway traffic and consumption of alcohol mean Memorial Day is one of the most dangerous weekends for travelers.

Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the deadliest time period for driving during the year; Washington state experienced over 115 traffic fatalities last summer. Fortunately, such fatalities can be prevented through better driving habits, as well as the increased presence of emergency first responders.

Air medical services are some of the most important health care providers in these cases, as these flying ICUs help patients receive treatment and be transported to the nearest care facility as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, access to these important services is under threat because these services are reimbursed far below their true cost on 70 percent of transports, and some private insurers refuse to go in-network with providers. In order to make sure Americans continue to have access to air ambulances, it is imperative that Congress modernize Medicare reimbursement rates and private insurers work in good faith with providers to cover these services. During Memorial Day weekend, and throughout the year, American lives depend on it.

Carter Johnson

Save Our Air Medical Resources

Washington, D.C.

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