July 28, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Eastlee, ceastlee@aams.org / (219) 743-3188

AAMS Supports GAO Report Recommendations

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) thanks the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for its efforts producing the report on air medical issues. The report, titled “Air Ambulance: Data Collection and Transparency Needed to Enhance DOT Oversight,” affirms that the Department of Transportation has the authority, under current law, to address industry data collection and consumer issues.

The GAO’s four recommendations were directed exclusively to the Secretary of Transportation, calling on her to take actions on:

  1. “Communicate a method to receive air ambulance-related complaints, including those regarding balance billing, such as through a dedicated web page that contains instructions on how to submit air ambulance complaints and includes information on how DOT uses the complaints.”
  2. “Take steps, once complaints are collected, to make pertinent aggregated complaint information publicly available for stakeholders, such as the number of complaints received by provider, on a monthly basis.”
  3. “Assess available federal and industry data and determine what further information could assist in the evaluation of future complaints or concerns regarding unfair or deceptive practices.”
  4. “Consider consumer disclosure requirements for air ambulance providers, which could include information such as established prices charged, business model and entity that establishes prices, and extent of contracting with insurance.”

AAMS fully supports additional transparency and consumer protection actions on the part of the DOT along the lines of the report’s recommendations and is working to improve the industry’s transparency with regard to both costs and quality-of-care.  AAMS and its member companies were pleased to work with the GAO in developing this report and appreciate their efforts in reviewing these issues and providing specific recommendations for addressing them.