Air Ambulance Cost

by / Monday, 07 April 2014 / Published in air ambulance cost, medical transportation rates

air ambulance interior

What does an air ambulance cost?

A typical air ambulance transport from California to North Carolina costs around $31,000! While a typical long distance medical transport by ground from California to North Carolina costs around $13,000. The question you need to be asking is what long distance medical transportation option best suits my needs and budget?

Why is the cost of air ambulance services and long distance ground transportation so far apart? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Jet fuel prices have not fallen nearly as much as gasoline prices.
  2. During these challenging economic times, fewer people can afford an air ambulance flight. Thus, the overhead costs rise to offset the fewer flight hours.
  3. Insurance costs have risen significantly.
  4. Salaries for critical care flight nurses are among the highest for all nursing positions.
  5. Flight training and recurrent training costs for pilots continue to rise. They are 5x more expensive than for nurses and drivers. Pilot recurrent training costs are over $10,000 per year.
  6. Aircrafts cost more to purchase (several million compared to $75,000-$100,000) and cost more to operate compared to a ground vehicle (e.g. ambulance).

Characteristics of an Air Ambulance Company

Air ambulance companies may appear to be the same and as a result, you may be inclined to make your medical flight selection based primarily on availability or cost. For those with experience in the air ambulance business, it is readily apparent that not all air ambulance companies are comparable. So without experience, how can you recognize these differences?

Consider your own experiences with medical professionals and it’s likely that you’ll recall some of them whom you preferred over others. Were they more compassionate? Did they take a special interest in you? Isn’t it interesting that most of us evaluate our level of medical care on the personal attention or the bedside manner we experience?

The air ambulance company should be fully licensed, insured and nationally accredited. They should also have a highly trained medical crew whose primary responsibilities are the care and safety of the patient(s). They need to have the most advanced medical flight equipment available to ensure the most effective medical care.

Air Ambulance vs. Long Distance Ground Transportation

Critical patients that may require invasive medical care and the shortest transportation times should choose an air ambulance service. However; when time in transit is not a critical factor, the patient is stable and not expected to require medical intervention then long distance ground transportation may be a more suitable option. Additionally, insurance rarely covers the cost of long distance medical transportation services.

air ambulance jet crewFor more information on Med Transport Center’s air ambulance or ground transportation services, contact us at (800) 311-3412. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have.