Air Ambulance: Vehicle and Staffing
There are two categories of air ambulance services: fixed wing (airplane) and rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft. The higher operational costs of the two types of aircraft are recognized with two distinct payment amounts for air ambulance mileage. The air ambulance mileage rate is calculated per actual loaded (patient onboard) miles flown and is expressed in statute miles (not nautical miles).
Fixed Wing Air Ambulance (FW)
FW is transportation by a fixed wing aircraft that is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a fixed wing air ambulance and includes the provision of medically necessary services and supplies.
Rotary Wing Air Ambulance (RW)
RW is the transportation by a helicopter that is certified by the FAA as a rotary wing ambulance and includes the provision of medically necessary services and supplies.
- All services of personnel involved in a patient's care while in transport (air or ground) are included in the base rate
- No separate payment may be made to a physician on board the ambulance, nor may separate payment be made for pre- and post-care that is the ambulance supplier's responsibility
- With the exception of mileage, no separate payment is allowed for other services related to the transport
- The vehicle must comply with state or local laws governing the licensing and certification of emergency medical transportation vehicles