The cost of air ambulance services worries many patients and their loved ones. The cost is typically considered very high by many people who have never used it. But you need to know that it is not a fixed cost or price. Air ambulance costs depend on many factors. The variables can make the cost relatively high depending on the scenario, while in some situations, the cost can be relatively low. Keep reading to learn about various factors that influence the cost of air ambulance services.
Patient’s Location and Distance to be Covered
Patient location is one of the main factors that influence air ambulance cost. The location can be viewed in many ways, such as prevailing weather conditions, accessibility, distance from the airport/airstrip, geography, and security. If the patient is in a safe, easily accessible place near the airstrip or airport, the cost will be relatively low. However, if the patient is in an inaccessible place due to poor weather conditions and geography, accessibility is limited, hence the high cost of air ambulance service.
In addition, the distance to be covered by the aircraft from the patient’s location to the medical facility will determine the cost. Typically, the longer the distance, the higher the cost of an air ambulance. Why? The aircraft or helicopter will use more fuel. Also, more time will be used to complete the assignment.
Type of Aircraft Needed
There are different types of air ambulances, like small aircraft and helicopters. Different aircraft have different fuel consumption levels. So when you get a small aircraft with much lower fuel consumption, expect to pay much less than a person who uses a larger aircraft that consumes more fuel.
You should also note that helicopter air ambulances are typically more expensive than ordinary air ambulances. This is because helicopters can land anywhere, evacuate patients, and quickly take them to a preferred healthcare facility without needing a ground ambulance.
Besides, you need to consider the medical equipment in an aircraft. An air ambulance with advanced medical equipment will typically cost more than one with basic medical equipment.
Patient Medical Condition
If the patient has a severe condition, they need an aircraft with advanced medical equipment. For instance, if a patient has a heart attack, they need to be evacuated quickly in a helicopter with advanced medical equipment. So, patients with severe cases needing specialized medical equipment during an evacuation should prepare for a relatively higher air ambulance cost. However, if a patient doesn’t have a serious condition, the cost can be relatively lower as no specialized equipment will be used.
Medical Staff to Escort the Patient
Please note that the medical staff that will provide care and accompanies the patient in the air ambulance will affect the cost of the service. The air ambulance repatriation cost will be relatively high if the crew comprises specialized doctors and nurses to provide emergency treatment and care before, during, and after the flight.
If your loved one needs medical repatriation immediately, you should prepare to pay for a high air ambulance cost. This means that the air ambulance company must look for ways to use the air ambulance to evacuate your loved one quickly. However, if the case is not an emergency, one can book the air ambulance the usual way and wait for scheduling. As a result, the rates are normal, hence lower than those of an immediate medical evacuation.
Ground Transport Requirements
If the patient needs ground transport to the aircraft or from the aircraft to the medical facility, some air ambulance companies provide ground ambulance transport. Ground transport is not free, and patients and their loved ones must pay for it. So if your patient needs ground ambulance transport to get to the aircraft or from the aircraft to the treatment center, the overall cost of air ambulance service will be relatively high. But if no ground ambulance transport is required, the overall cost of the service will be much less.
Many factors influence the cost of air ambulance services. Distance covered, patient location and condition, urgency, and aircraft type will influence the cost. Most importantly, the air ambulance company you hire will also determine the cost.