Categories: Bellino News 06Dec Rep. Bellino’s air ambulance legislation approved by House The Michigan House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved air ambulance reform legislation authored by state Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe.Bellino’s measure requires hospitals to transport patients via ground ambulances, rather than air ambulances, unless medically necessary. Patients sometimes are transported to hospitals by air ambulance without it being necessary and are eventually slammed with outrageous medical bills.“To protect patients from being hit hard with air ambulance bills costing in the tens of thousands of dollars, this bill stresses ground ambulance transportation over air,” said Bellino. “Too many patients have gone into debt because of air ambulance medical costs.”Air ambulance companies currently participate in “balance billing” where the patient’s health care provider will pay for a portion of the bill, but not its entirety. This leaves patients with medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars.“In a case in which an air ambulance is requested, hospitals should order an air transport vehicle from a participating provider with the nonemergency patient’s health benefit plan to help avoid huge billing costs,” Bellino said. “I am happy my colleagues in the House voted in favor of protecting patients. I look forward to working with the Senate to further advance my measure.”House Bill 5217 now moves to the Senate for consideration.