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Air ambulance service parent company to close multiple bases

Air Methods Corp. cited the No Surprises Act, inflation and under-reimbursement from Medicare as the reason for the closings


Photo/Gower Fire Protection District

By Leila Merrill

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Air Methods Corp. is closing several bases throughout the U.S. as a result of monetary concerns.

A spokesperson from Air Methods told KQ2 in a statement that the closures are due to “tremendous pressures from the No Surprises Act (NSA), unprecedent inflation and significant under-reimbursement from Medicare, which the government hasn’t updated in nearly 20 years.”

The parent company of LifeSave KuPono shut down the Hawaii air ambulance service Wednesday, which leaves only one air ambulance company serving the islands, according to HawaiiNewsNow.

“I know there’s a lot of people that are hurting today,” said Noel Kuehner, a certified flight nurse. “It was a very abrupt base closure. Nobody really saw it coming.”

“You’ve got 22 highly-skilled nurse and paramedics that have been providing conscientious care to the community, and they’re out of work today,” he said.

Air Methods also owns LifeNet Helicopter Services in St. Joseph, Mo., and intends to close it, too.

Air Methods’ statement goes on to state:

“The decision to close a base is never taken lightly as we understand this further impacts access to critical healthcare services in communities that greatly depend on them. Therefore, Air Methods conducted extensive financial analysis and explored every option at our disposal for nearly a year but ultimately, determined that keeping these bases open is simply unsustainable. We are, however, always open to collaborating with hospitals or local agencies to find viable ways to keep bases open as our ultimate goal is to provide life-saving efforts to those who need us the most.”