Stating that air ambulance services are essential is a no-brainer. The services are especially important in rural areas where the hospitals are far and few. The ones that are functional are on the verge of closing down.
In fact, several rural hospitals have closed down completely in recent times. Medical flight services have been bridging this gap successfully so far, but recently, they have been hit by rising prices, strict government regulations surrounding pricing, and limited reimbursement by insurance companies. Yet, several air ambulance services continue to press forward overcoming these seemingly insurmountable hurdles. How are they doing it? Here, we try to answer this all-important question.
Bringing Air Ambulance Services In-House
We had seen in the past decade that many air ambulance services were hiring external agencies to take care of certain aspects such as recruitment and training. This was pushing their costs up. The trend is slowly changing today where more and more services are being brought in-house. It is believed that about a tenth of the cost can be brought down in this manner. Moreover, hiring locally means that the staff are always on standby and possess a better knowledge of the local geography.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Collaborations Continue to be Pivotal in Cost Reduction
Air ambulance companies are being driven towards sharing resources like hangars by collaborating with each other. Also, smaller players in the industry are leaning towards mergers with bigger players. Air ambulance services that are unable to cope with the rising cost are simply preferring to get acquired rather than go bankrupt.
Of course, there is a downside to this trend, wherein only a handful of air ambulance services may be available in the days to come. The scenario can give rise to a monopolistic or, at least, oligopolist situation. How the industry will turn up eventually, only time will tell.