House Bill 5217 May Limit Air Ambulance Transports

House Bill 5217 Signed by Governor – Aims to Limit Air Ambulance Transports

HB-5217 has passed through the house and senate, and signed into law by Governor Snyder. This bill places parameters around air ambulance transport, and as mentioned at the MTC general meeting raises some concerns. I encourage you to save and print the bill and review it with the appropriate people in your organization. Specifically, Section 21540 raises the possibility of a change in responsibility for payment of the air ambulance cost from insurance/or patient to the hospital if emergency necessity is not adequately documented. It’s important to review your institution’s process for documenting evidence of medical necessity for emergency air transport, to avoid any cost transfer. Some are concerned about possible delays in transport to an appropriate trauma center if multiple air agencies are available as the ED finds the “one” that is “in network for” the patient’s insurance.

Most hospitals have their transfer forms worded in such a way that this change of practice may be negligible. Some may not. I encourage you and your administration to contact your outgoing AND incoming representatives to express your concerns. You can find their contact info on the legislative matters page in the “Find your elected officials” link. (Heather Ruffin)