New arrangement to lower costs for members in need of air transport services
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced today that northeast Tennessee air transport provider PHI Air Medical has joined its commercial provider networks.
Effective Jan. 1, the agreement provides BlueCross members with in-network access to medically necessary air transport services from PHI Air Medical at agreed-upon rates. It also prevents members from being balance-billed for charges beyond those contracted rates.
BlueCross recently offered network contracts to air ambulance providers to address unreasonable cost increases in air transport for its members. Over 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, BlueCross senior vice president of provider network management. “Negotiated savings help slow the growth of premium increases and lower costs for our customers. We are pleased that PHI Air Medical has joined our efforts to provide cost stability and savings for the members we serve.”
“PHI Air Medical is excited to be a part of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee provider network,” said Sean O’Neal, PHI Air Medical’s regional director of cooperative programs. “PHI has proudly served the citizens of Tennessee through the cooperative program with Wellmont Health System, WellmontOne Air Transport and our base locations in neighboring states since 2010. With our partners, we look forward to continuing to provide the highest quality patient care and delivering the best possible outcomes for our patients for many years to come.”
For more information about BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s air ambulance network, visit BCBSTNews.com.
About PHI Air Medical
PHI Air Medical is the leading air ambulance provider across the country, providing air medical services and outreach education to local communities and leading healthcare systems. We safely transport more than 30,000 patients each year, operating out of more than 65 bases across the United States. At each base, we maintain a dedicated crew of pilots, mechanics, flight nurses, flight paramedics and communications specialists – all exceptionally trained and ready to respond.
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 3.4 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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