Senators Hoeven (R-ND) and Tester (D-MT) offered an amendment to address rates charged by air ambulance companies and exempt air medical services from the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA). The amendment would allow states to enact priority dispatch lists for air ambulance services, dependent on an air medical service contracting in network with health insurance providers, within the state. The North Dakota legislature recently enacted this law, which was quickly struck down by the federal courts, in a summary judgement, under the ADA.
Senator Tester also filed an amendment to the FAA reauthorization legislation that will launch a Government Accountability Office investigation to identify the costs associated with operating an air ambulance. Senator Hoeven also introduced an amendment to grants states the right to set their own regulations on air ambulance service providers.
Ultimately, the amendments were withdrawn. However, we believe interest continues in pursuing these initiatives. We will continue to monitor this closely.
In response, ACCT engaged in congressional outreach (link to letter) as amendments were being offered to express the association’s support for consideration of a narrow amending of the Airline Deregulation Act’s (ADA) federal preemption provision (49 USC 41713) to allow State health authorities to oversee emergency medical services to patients consistent with their mandate to oversee healthcare.