The No Surprises Act came into effect on January 1, 2022. It is a federal law aimed at protecting patients from unexpected medical bills. The law includes provisions for air ambulance services, which have historically been known for their high costs. Let’s explore how the air ambulance industry in the United States has changed since the implementation of the No Surprises Act.
Provisions of the Act and Air Ambulance Bills
The No Surprises Act prohibits air ambulance providers from balance billing patients for emergency services. Balance billing is the practice of billing patients for the difference between what the provider charges and what the insurance company is willing to pay. The law requires air ambulance providers to bill patients at a benchmark rate, which is determined by the state where the patient is located.
Transparency is Now Real
Prior to the No Surprises Act, patients often received unexpected medical bills from air ambulance providers. These bills were often high, and patients had little understanding of how they were calculated. Under the new law, air ambulance providers are required to provide patients with good-faith cost estimates before the services are provided, helping patients make informed decisions.
Impact on Air Ambulance Providers
The No Surprises Act has had a significant impact on air ambulance providers as well. Providers must now work more closely with insurance companies to negotiate rates and ensure that they are in compliance with the law. Providers may also need to adjust their business models to adapt to the new regulations. Air ambulance companies can no longer approach patients for payments not covered by insurance.
Summing it All Up
The No Surprises Act has had a significant impact on the air ambulance industry in the United States. Patients now enjoy greater protection against unexpected medical bills. Besides, air ambulance providers are mandated to work within a well-regulated framework.