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.

KCUR reports 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.

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