Air Evac Lifeteam has made the decision to close its Elmore County air ambulance base in Wetumpka, AL effective today.
Company President Seth Myers said low utilization of the service coupled with low reimbursement rates were major factors in the company’s decision to cease operations at the base which has been in service since April 2006.
“The reimbursement issue, along with a low demand for patient transports, made it impossible for us to sustain operations at the base,” Myers said. “As a result of the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid, nearly a quarter of the residents we fly in Alabama are self-pay with very little means to pay medical expenses. For those patients covered by Medicaid, they currently reimburse just over $500 for the transport of an adult. The high fixed cost of air ambulance makes it impossible for us to continue to operate with no indication of improvement in sight.”
“We’ve been taking a loss with this base for many years. This is an area where air medical services are needed and we wanted to provide this valuable resource for the people in this region,” Myers added. “We’ve also seen a decline in commercial reimbursement rates, making Alabama the lowest state in our 15-state service area for reimbursement.”
“While we regret have to close any base we have in operation, if we are not able to cover the costs to operate the base, we must utilize our resources in other areas that have greater needs for utilization,” he said.
Air Evac Lifeteam operates two other bases in the region at Demopolis and LaGrange, Ga. Both bases are an approximately 80-mile flight from Elmore County.
Myers said he met with crewmembers that have been working at the base this morning to talk with them about the decision to close the base. All have been offered the opportunity to work in other positions in the company or accept a severance package.
Air Evac Lifeteam members living in Autauga, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Montgomery, Pike and Tallapoosa counties will receive a letter this week providing them with details and options regarding their membership, including an option for a prorated refund.
- 28-Jan-20 AF-302 Bell 206 Bulo, Uganda (2F)
- Jotov & Son Bulgaria purchased an Entrol H01 FNPT II simulator
- 17-Oct-19 N167AG Bell 206B Marshville, US-North Carolina (1F)
- 16-Apr-19 N61PH Bell 206B Fountain Hills, US-Arizona (2F)
- 18-Mar-19 ZT-ROB Bell 206L3 Beira, Mozambique
- Israel orders seven Leonardo AW119Kx trainers to replace Bell 206s
- 11-Feb-19 PT-HPG Bell 206B Jabaquara, Brazil (2F)
- 04-Feb-19 VH-NXW Bell 206 Marcoola, Australia
- Precision Flight Controls and Ryan Aerospace develops B206 simulator
- Precision Flight Controls releases simulator for B206 and B407GXP
- 07-Nov-17 N93PH Bell 206B Rolling Fork, US-Mississippi
- 08-Nov-17 N275AE Bell 206L3 Union City, US-Tennessee
- FAA approves B206 and B407 sim from Ryan-Precision JV
- 10-Aug-17 7T-WU? Bell 206L Douira, Algeria (4F)
- 10-Jun-17 B-31118 Bell 206B Fengbin, Taiwan (3F)
- 10-Jun-17 VH-ONE Bell 206B Avalon, Australia
- 13-May-17 D-HHFW Bell 206B Hirtshals, Denmark
- 07-May-17 Bell 206 Waterloo, US-Illinois
- 02-May-17 N911GE Bell 206B Fort McCoy, US-Florida
- The Helicopter Museum to dispose of A109 and B206 airframes in Jumble Sale