Angel MedFlight staff are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Call 1-877-ANGEL70 (877-264-3570) and one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members will be happy to assist you.
Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing an Air Ambulance Company
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I found Angel MedFlight on the internet, how do I know that I can trust this company?
Angel MedFlight places the highest priority on patient care and patient advocacy. Our core business is centered on providing the best care possible to the patients we serve and obtaining the insurance benefits that are rightfully theirs. We accomplish this by having the highest clinical standards in the industry and a thorough, efficient process through which we pursue our patients' claims.
Patient Care - All of Angel MedFlight's nurses have earned the prestigious Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) credential, which is held by less than 3,400 nurses worldwide. The CFRN is a specialty care certification that verifies medical expertise specific to flight nursing and is administered by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). . To earn this credential, nurses must pass a rigorous exam that tests a nurse's knowledge of body systems, disease specific care, and flight physiology. Nationally, only 59% of nurses who take the test earn their CFRN credential. Few fixed-wing air ambulance medical teams achieve 100 percent certification, making Angel MedFlight's accomplishment an impressive distinction and making Angel MedFlight's nurses truly an elite group of air medical transport clinicians.
Patient Advocacy – Many insurance companies provide benefits for air ambulance transportation. Angel MedFlight works diligently to ensure that its patients receive all of the air ambulance benefits to which they are entitled. Our hands-on insurance knowledge is unrivaled in the air medical transportation industry. Whether you have employee-sponsored health insurance governed by ERISA, Travel Insurance, COBRA insurance, or if you purchased an individual policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, our committed team will understand your coverage terms and get you every available benefit.
Our commitment to our patients is shown through our patient testimonials, and our stellar ranking with the Arizona Better Business Bureau and the Arizona Department of Health Services. We are also accredited by the National Accreditation Alliance Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA), an organization that oversees quality, patient safety, and medical transportation standards.
What is an air ambulance?
An air ambulance is a business class aircraft (for example, a Gulfstream, Learjet, or King Air) that is medically customized with a stretcher, advanced life support equipment, a wide range of medications, and a specialized flight-trained medical staff. Angel MedFlight utilizes only fixed-wing jets for its fleet.
Why would a patient need an air ambulance?
- Extensive or urgent medical attention is needed and time is critical
- Critical illness or injury where patient cannot be transported by commercial means
- Injury or illness while traveling in a foreign country
- Illness or injury requiring treatment by a specialist
- Traveling by car or ground ambulance is medically inappropriate or unsafe
Distance Between Locations
Appropriate Mode of Transportation
Distance < 150 miles
Distance > 150 miles
Jet or turbo-prop aircraft
Distance > 800 miles
Jet or pressurized turbo prop aircraft
Distance > 1,300 miles
What do I need to do to prepare for a medical transport?
You are only responsible for working with your physician to choose a receiving hospital, a time and date for the transport, and providing Angel MedFlight with payment information. If your travel dates are flexible, we will work with you on trip options. Angel MedFlight takes care of everything else – air and ground transportation, providing a medical team and flight crew, coordinating the medical personnel and facilities, filing insurance claims on your behalf, and anything else that may arise.
What other services do you offer?
Angel MedFlight is in the business of providing and/or arranging air medical transportation services, commercial medical escorts, ground ambulance services, and insurance benefit assistance.
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we are fully licensed and insured. We utilize aircraft that are FAA Part 135 compliant. Angel MedFlight utilizes the services of sole and exclusive FAA F.A.R. Part 135 vendors, such as AeroJet Services (License Number: J7EA116I). Our vendors retain WYVERN and ARG/US ratings in order to ensure the safest aviation operations possible. All flight crew and medical staff maintain all required licenses and certifications. We also have an Arizona Department of Health Services Air Ambulance License (Lic.#750).
Who will provide the care?
At Angel MedFlight, a trained medical professional will answer your call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. He or she will answer your questions, gather any necessary information, arrange the air ambulance transport, and obtain payment information. During the transport, our standard medical team typically consists of one registered flight nurse and one critical care flight paramedic. Many have specialized training in critical care, emergency medicine or other specialties and all of our nurses hold the prestigious CFRN credential. Together, this critical care flight team is able to handle any issue that may arise during a transport. With Angel MedFlight, you or your loved one will be in capable and experienced hands.
How many medical personnel are with the patient on each transfer?
A standard, critical care medical team consists of two medical personnel. One will be either a physician or a critical care flight nurse. The other is a paramedic, depending on the patient's needs. These personnel will accompany the patient on each transport.
What kind of training/experience do they have?
All of our medical staff are board certified, and have at least three years' experience in emergency medicine. They undergo a rigorous initial orientation prior to flying with patients. Additionally, all medical personnel participate in 100 hours of didactic and clinical continuing education annually. We also perform a quality review following each trip. Finally, all of Angel MedFlight's nurses hold the prestigious Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) credential, which is a specialty care certification that verifies medical expertise specific to flight nursing.
What does “bedside to bedside” medical transport mean?
To ensure continuity of care, our medical team is with the patient from the very beginning of the transport. Our team arrives at the patient's bedside at the sending facility or hospital. We meet with sending medical staff and assess the patient's condition. Our team accompanies the patient in the ground ambulance to the airfield, constantly monitoring the patient's condition. Our team flies with the patient, and accompanies the patient by ground ambulance to the receiving hospital or facility. We discuss the trip with the receiving medical staff to ensure they are up to date on the patient's current condition. This process ensures the best possible clinical outcome during the medical transport process.
What equipment and medications are on board the aircraft?
Standard medical equipment includes stretchers, oxygen, a ventilator, cardiac monitor/defibrillator, resuscitation equipment, suction, intubation equipment, IV, ACLS drug complement, and any other specialty equipment necessary to meet the needs of each individual patient.
How much does air ambulance transport cost?
Patient transport via air ambulance is not inexpensive. But it is often the safest, fastest way to get a patient into the best hands for urgent medical care. Angel MedFlight is committed to finding the most cost effective transportation without compromising the quality of care. Call 1-877-ANGEL70 (877-264-3570) and we’ll quickly provide a no-obligation retainer quote for you.
What forms of payment does Angel MedFlight accept?
During this critical time, finances are the last thing you want to worry about. We try to make the financial aspect easier by working with each individual patient to create the most logical transport package. In addition, we accept various forms of payment for your convenience.
All major credit cards
Bank wire drafts
Is there a less expensive alternative to air ambulance transport?
In cases where the patient is more stable and time is less critical, we can provide the following alternative methods of transport if available:
- Long range ground transport. We transport the patient via ground ambulance staffed with two drivers, medical personnel, equipment and medications
- Commercial flight with medical escort. Patient is accompanied by an Critical Care Flight Nurse or Critical Care Flight Paramedic (and of course all necessary medical equipment) on a commercial airline.
Call 1-877-ANGEL70 for an in-depth discussion of the patient’s medical transport needs.
Does insurance cover air ambulance transport?
Many health insurance policies, automobile policies, workers' compensation plans and travel insurance policies provide coverage for air and ground ambulance services. Angel MedFlight has a deep understanding of the various medical coverage policies available in the marketplace and extensive experience dealing with most insurance carriers to obtain all benefits to which a patient is entitled.
In order to best determine whether you, your family member, your friend, or your patient's insurance will cover the costs of air medical transportation, contact our insurance experts today. By simply providing your insurance card or member ID, we will be able to quickly identify your coverage terms.
What will you do to get my insurance to pay for the flight?
While most air medical transportation providers will tell you "we help file your insurance paperwork," Angel MedFlight realizes this can be just the beginning to what is a long and daunting journey with your insurance company. Angel MedFlight will work with you from the beginning to the end to assist you in obtaining benefits you may have within your insurance plan.
When you first call Angel MedFlight, you will speak with a Flight Coordinator with expertise in making the arrangements for your air or ground medical transportation. This Flight Coordinator will obtain all the files and information necessary to initiate and expedite the claims process. Angel MedFlight will review your insurance eligibility and benefits before the flight and work with your doctor and clinical team to understand the medical necessity of your transport. In some circumstances, if appropriate, we will seek prior authorization for the transport from the insurance carrier. In other circumstances, we will provide the transport first and then submit a claim to your insurance. In either event, we diligently follow-up to ensure the claim is given a full and fair review and properly adjudicated by the insurance company.
Angel MedFlight has an "in-house" team specializing in insurance law dedicated to obtaining the maximum level of benefits available under your insurance plan. If your insurance company denies the air or ground medical transportation claim, this team will work to have that decision reversed and obtain coverage.
What is “medical necessity”?
In an effort to provide a standard definition of "Medical Necessity" and to establish a standard set of practices performed by Private Insurance Carriers, the American Medical Association put together the "Model Managed Care Contract." The American Medical Association defines "Medical Necessity" as the following:
- Health care or services that a prudent physician would provide to a patient for the purposes of preventing, diagnosing, or treating an illness, injury, disease, or its symptoms in a manner that is:
(a) in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice;
(b) clinically appropriate in terms of frequency, extent, site, and duration; and
(c) not primarily for the economic benefit of the health plans and purchasers or for the convenience of the patient, treating physician, or other health care provider.
If my physician gives Angel MedFlight a "Letter of Medical Necessity", my insurance carrier will cover the flight, right?
No, it does not mean that your insurance carrier will cover the flight. Often, the insurance contract between you or your employer and the insurance carrier gives "sole discretion (or decision making ability)" to the Medical Director of the insurance company to determine whether your care is "medically necessary." This means that your "treating physician" may tell you that you need some form of healthcare procedure, service, or diagnostic exam, but the Medical Director at the insurance company may determine it is not "medically necessary." Even when this occurs, Angel MedFlight has personnel experienced in dealing with the insurance companies and insurance contracts who can work to have the insurance company reverse its decision. If you are seeking approval from an insurance company for air ambulance or ground ambulance services, it is best to put those efforts into the hands of Angel MedFlight from the very beginning.
Angel MedFlight goes well beyond "just helping file your insurance paperwork."
Does your company help patients file insurance paperwork?
Angel MedFlight goes well beyond "just helping file your insurance paperwork". While most air medical transportation providers will tell you "we help file your insurance paperwork", Angel MedFlight realizes that this can be just the beginning to what is a long and daunting journey with your insurance company.
Angel MedFlight will work with you from the beginning all the way through the end in order to assist you with obtaining the benefits you may have within your insurance plan. When you first call Angel MedFlight, you will speak with a Flight Coordinator with expertise in making the arrangements for your air or ground medical transportation. As you begin to work with one of these Flight Coordinators they will obtain all the necessary files that are required to expedite the claims process. These files are absolutely necessary in order to put forth the absolute best possible case with your insurance company.
Angel MedFlight has an "in-house" team that specializes in insurance law so that you can get the insurance benefits under your plan. This team of lawyers doesn’t stop if your insurance company has denied the air or ground medical transportation claim. For you, your family, your friend, or your patient this team will fight to obtain the coverage. In some circumstances where the air medical transportation is emergent and your insurance company has denied the service, Angel MedFlight may have to perform the service and work for many years to obtain the coverage.
How do you determine which aircraft is right for each patient?
We consider the patient's condition, the length of the flight, and the number of passengers that will be on board the aircraft, as well as any other factors contributing to making the flight a success. Regardless of which aircraft is chosen, it will be equipped with the same life sustaining medical equipment and flight-experienced medical teams
How many pilots are on board?
Flights are conducted with a two-pilot crew at all times.
Are meals served on the plane?
Yes, for flights over 3.5 hours, we offer catered meals for family members and for patients. We will make every effort to accommodate special diets and special requests. There may be circumstances where meals are not available, and we will cover that with you prior to the flight.
How many family members can travel with the patient?
This is determined by the type of aircraft used to transport the patient, the number of medical personnel on board, the patient's condition, and the medical equipment needed.
Angel MedFlight uses medically-dedicated Learjet 35 and 60 aircraft with two critical care medical personnel onboard. These Learjet's can accommodate one to two passengers in addition to the medical personnel, while larger aircraft like a Gulfstream can seat as many as five family members.
How much luggage can patients/passengers bring?
Generally, there is room for no more than 2 small pieces ("carry-ons'") of luggage due to the significant space utilized by onboard medical equipment and personnel. We will make arrangements to ship other luggage and non-essentials for the patient and family members.
Are pets allowed on board?
It is possible, depending on the size and weight of the animal as well as safety considerations. We do understand how important pets can be to patients and family, and we take that into consideration. If a pet will accompany the patient, the pet must be up to date on vaccinations and confined to a pet carrier during the flight. We will gladly arrange for your pet to be transported commercially if there is not enough space on the air ambulance aircraft. At this time, Angel MedFlight aircraft cannot accommodate cats.