The average estimated allowed (in-network) amount for base fixed-wing air ambulance transport (not including mileage charges) rose 76.4 percent, from $8,855 in 2017 to $15,624 in 2020. This was part of a general rise in costs for both fixed-wing (airplane) and rotary-wing (helicopter) air ambulance transport during this period, including increases in average billed charges, estimated allowed amounts for privately insured patients and Medicare reimbursements. These are among the findings in FAIR Health’s new white paper, Air Ambulance Services in the United States: A Study of Private and Medicare Claims.
The average charge associated with fixed-wing air ambulance transports rose 27.6 percent, from $19,210 in 2017 to $24,507 in 2020, the study reports. The average Medicare reimbursement rose 4.7 percent, from $3,071 to $3,216.
The average charge associated with rotary-wing air ambulance transports rose 22.2 percent, from $24,924 in 2017 to $30,446 in 2020. The average estimated allowed amount rose 60.8 percent, from $11,608 to $18,668. The average Medicare reimbursement rose 4.7 percent, from $3,570 to $3,739.
- White Paper: Air Ambulance Services in the United States A Study of Private and Medicare Claims. Fair Health. September 28, 2021 (PDF)