New arrangement to lower costs for members in need of air transport services
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced today that air transport provider Air Methods has joined its commercial provider networks.
In an effort to reduce costs for groups and members, the agreement will be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. This means that BlueCross members who have already used Air Methods for emergency transportation in this calendar year will receive in-network benefits and will be protected from balance billing.
BlueCross began offering network contracts to air medical providers in 2017 to help maintain affordability for members. More than 2,000 BlueCross members required air transport in 2016, and the company paid more than $50 million for those services.
“One of our most important roles is advocating for quality care and lower costs on behalf of our members,” said Larry Nall, senior vice president of provider network management for BlueCross. “Negotiated savings help slow the growth of premium increases and lower costs for our customers. We are pleased that Air Methods has joined our efforts to provide cost stability and savings for the members we serve.”
Chris Myers, executive vice president of reimbursement for Air Methods, said that the company is working on increasing in-network agreements so that more Americans — especially those in underserved rural areas — have access to emergent critical care services when they need them most.
“This agreement with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee furthers Air Methods’ focus on offering high-level air medical care at affordable in-network rates to as many consumers as possible, while also protecting them on the ground through policy initiatives and patient billing support,” Myers said. “Air Methods is a proactive company that takes to the air to provide what is often life-saving treatment for people with medical emergencies, while also protecting them on the ground from surprise bills by establishing in-network relationships with forward-thinking health plans such as BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.”
For more information about BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s air ambulance network, visit BCBSTNews.com.
About Air Methods
Air Methods (www.airmethods.com) is the leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. United Rotorcraft is the Company’s products division specializing in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features more than 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at bcbst.com.
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