The air transport company (it has several names including Rocky Mountain Holding Co., Native Air and Air Methods) is involved in about 22 legal actions, according to Ruidoso News.
A New Mexico woman has filed the latest medical overcharges claim against this company. She had a heart attack and was flown from New Mexico to a Texas hospital that has a catheterization laboratory, apparently because all the cath labs in her state were full. Her medical insurance covered all hospital fees and the air ambulance with a $100 deductible so imagine her surprise when she was billed $60,000 for the flight.
After appealing her insurance company’s denial, it paid one-third, but she was still on the hook for the remaining $40,000. So she appealed again, and again, to no avail. Next up she called the New Mexico Attorney General’s office and filed a complaint against Rocky Mountain Holdings. She was then told that Rocky Mountain Holdings “is not a corporation in good standing in New Mexico...They are looking into Presbyterian [hospital] about why they are calling this company.” Could the hospital be getting a kickback?
Not only does the air transport company overcharge a flight. Apparently it even tries to collect from patients after their insurance company pays them – double dipping! This company has cashed in on a loophole—the deregulation of air fares. So the outcome of these lawsuits will prove interesting. Charging this woman $60,000 “may not be illegal, but it certainly is unethical,” she told Ruidoso News.
READ MORE EMERGENCY ROOM CHARGES LEGAL NEWS
But wait, it gets worse. Last year April Breck’s mother was involved in a car crash—an ambulance speeding to a call crashed into their car. An air ambulance was called but Sheila died before it arrived. A week later April was mailed a bill for $25,000—their “base rate”.
Emergency responders and pilots deserve a decent pay rate. Add to that gas and helicopter maintenance, etc. But these overcharges are outrageous and the patient suffers in the end. Unless they prevail in medical overcharges lawsuits.