Local air medical agencies join forces to try to cut costs

Created: 04/21/2014 6:31 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

If you have an emergency and a helicopter is called, your hospital bill could get more expensive. Now, there’s an effort to save costs, not only for emergency helicopter organizations, but also for patients.

The emergency medical equipment used inside helicopters like at Mercy Flight Central is expensive. But the cost could soon be going down and here's why. Three non-profit air medical agencies are coming together to pool their resources and ultimately save money. The agencies are Mercy Flight Central in Canandaigua, Mercy Flight Western, out of Buffalo and Star Flight, out of Jamestown.

Erin VanZummeren, Mercy Flight Central, said, “To be able give the community a valuable service such as this.”

Together, they hope to cut costs by holding joint training sessions, fundraising events and buying equipment in bulk. So how will this affect families?

Mercy Flight Central says the lower their costs, the lower the cost to patients, which means emergency bills for victims could go down. Another benefit is they hope to educate hospitals and emergency medical services about their low-cost efforts.

VanZummeren said, “It's really great. We've been working with these agencies for years now and we have a great working relationship now and it's very exciting."

This is the first time these three organizations have come together and they say they're excited to have finally joined forces.  

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