Bloomberg Law
Jan. 15, 2020, 9:36 PM

Air Ambulance Companies Defend ‘Balance Billing’ of Patients

Alex Ruoff
Alex Ruoff

Billing patients directly for services an insurer won’t cover is critical to the business model for air ambulance providers, industry executives said during the first meeting of a federal advisory committee.

The practice known as “balance billing,” which lawmakers are debating whether to outlaw, is a rarely used but important tool for collecting fees from commercially insured patients, who account for most air ambulance company revenue despite being a minority of the population they serve, the operators said.

Billing for air ambulance services is emerging as a point of contention in Congress.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

David Motzkin, president of the air ambulance company PHI Health, said billing patients directly is essential to “get the level of ...

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