Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Air ambulance bill on hold to seek alternative solutions

HELENA — A measure to prevent air ambulance patients from being hit with huge bills has been put on hold while governor's officials and lawmakers meet with the groups to seek alternative solutions.

Gov. Steve Bullock's budget director, two Republican senators and a Democratic representative met Wednesday with a lobbyist and a consultant representing a coalition of air ambulance companies. Previous meetings were held with insurance companies and hospital officials.

At issue is a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Gordon Vance of Belgrade that would require air ambulance providers and insurance companies to negotiate payments for providers' services.

Lawmakers heard complaints earlier this month from people who received bills for tens of thousands of dollars in costs not covered by insurance.

Vance says the recent meetings have not yielded a better solution than what's in his bill so far.


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