Med-Trans, Anthem reach deal on Carilion Lifeguard services - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Med-Trans, Anthem reach deal on Carilion Lifeguard services

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ROANOKE -

The deal is effective immediately. Any Anthem patients who are air-lifted in any of Lifeguard's three helicopters will not see bills as high as those who needed the service over the past year.

Paul Davenport, Vice President of Emergency Services at Carilion Clinic says, "We know that there has been some concern in the community."

He is talking about the fact that patients may be leery of helicopter medical transport because in some cases, people got a bill for more than twenty thousand dollars for that flight.

Davenport explains, "Our aviation partner Med-Trans through lengthy negotiation with Anthem has now come to an agreement with Anthem. This was always in the forefront of our discussions with Med-Trans about our desire to continue an Anthem agreement from our previous contract."

Some people would say that's not good enough. Some think it has taken too long to come to terms on an agreement

Rob Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer for Med-Trans explains, "Anthem and Med-Trans are large entities covering a lot of difficult geographies so that adds some complexities to what we are trying to get accomplished.

When asked about how long negotiations have taken Hamilton said, "Earnestly, a good year."

We wanted to know what happens to the Anthem patients with those high medical bills from the past year.

Hamilton says, "We want to engage with each one of the patients that has been affected by this out of network status on an individual basis."

Should people with insurance other than Anthem be worried about a flight in an emergency?

We found out that Anthem is actually the only health insurance carrier to ever have a contract with Carilion Clinic's Lifeguard 10 even before Med-Trans took over last year. We are told since other health insurance companies provided higher reimbursement rates a contract wasn't needed with them

Davenport emphasizes above all else the Lifeguard crew is most concerned with providing efficient and effective care.

From now on all Anthem patients will only be billed for the deductible and co-pay amounts applicable under their insurance plan.

When we checked with Anthem about this situation, Scott Golden told us Anthem will consider this agreement official when both contracts signed which is expected next week.

The following statement comes from Carilion Clinic:

The terms of the agreement will be applied to all flights involving Anthem patients effective immediately. Med-Trans will also apply the terms of the agreement to Anthem patients who have outstanding balances from previous flights and will issue an updated billing statement.

Patients who have already settled their bill can contact Med-Trans at 1-866-261-3032 to have their account reviewed.

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