5 Questions to Ask an Air Ambulance Provider
Over the 30 years that we have been providing air medical transport services to patients around the world, we’ve come to understand pretty well what the experience is like for patients and their families. We understand that it’s a stressful, often scary time. We understand why most patients and family members don’t want to spend a lot of time calling around to different air ambulance providers to find the right one.
That said, we also recognize that you’re probably going to call at least two companies to ensure that you’re getting the right service for yourself of your loved one – as you well should. When you make those phone calls, what do you ask? Of course, the cost of the transport will likely be a factor in your decision, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. To help ensure that you find the right provider to meet your needs, here is a list of 5 questions to ask.
1. What forms of transportation can you offer? How do you help me decide which one is right for me?
At MedFlight911, we don’t believe in a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Instead, we help you select the best transport solution based on the patient's medical condition, trip distance, budget, time constraints and other key factors. Our concern above all else is getting the patient transferred safely and expediently. We will work with you, the care provider, and the insurance company, if applicable, to determine the most effective way to accomplish that goal. For a general idea of which type of medical transport might be appropriate, see our blog article How Do I Decide Which Type of Medical Transport Is Right for Me (Or My Loved One)?
2. Will you work with my insurance company to get the air medical transport covered?
Whether the patient’s medical insurance provider will cover the medical flight or not depends on a range of factors, including the insurance provider, the policy, and the patient’s particular situation (see our blog article Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance Service Part 2 – Medical Insurance for a discussion). We cannot guarantee coverage, but we will absolutely work with the patient’s insurance company to maximize the possibility of reimbursement.
3. Will you coordinate with my healthcare providers?
At MedFlight911, it is our job to take care of every detail of the patient’s transport. Of course that includes coordinating with the patient’s healthcare providers – both at the “departing facility” (where the patient will be when we pick her up) and at the “receiving facility” (where we will be transporting the patient to). Our work with the patient’s healthcare provider begins at step 1 when we work together to determine the most effective form of medical transport for the patient.
4. What medical staff will be on the transport?
Some companies only have nurses, or paramedics, or EMTs. At MedFlight911, we will staff the medical flight with a medical crew appropriate for the situation. A standard air ambulance medical crew includes a critical care nurse and a critical care paramedic. Commercial air medical escorts and ground transport escorts are typically paramedics, critical care nurses, or physicians. Please see our Air Medical Transport Crew page for more details.
5. What medical equipment will be on the transport?
The type of equipment that will be on the medical transport depends in large part of the type of transport. For example, an air ambulance is equipped with much more sophisticated critical care equipment than a commercial air medical escort would be. Once we’ve determined the appropriate type of medical transport, we’ll determine what kind of medical equipment will be necessary. Our air ambulances can be equipped with the full range of resources (see our Air Ambulance Equipment page for more detail).
We understand that entrusting your own care or the care of your family member to an air ambulance provider who you’ve never met in person can be scary. Using these 5 questions to begin your conversation with a provider will be a good step toward ensuring that you find the best medical flight provider for yourself or your loved one.