28-May-2021 Source: Life Flight Network
Bozeman Health and Life Flight Network are pleased to share that they have entered into an agreement for Life Flight Network to provide comprehensive medical transport services for Bozeman Health patients. Life Flight Network, also a not-for-profit organization, is a medical transport service with helicopter, fixed-wing, and ground ambulance bases throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
The partnership between Bozeman Health and Life Flight Network has been under development for more than a year. The partnership will primarily focus on hospital to hospital transport for patients who may need a higher level of care, or are being transferred to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital’s new neonatal intensive care unit. This hospital to hospital patient transport program will ensure the readiness of local 9-1-1 ambulances as the region grows and will simultaneously provide patients requiring air or ground transport into or out of the Bozeman Health system access to timely inter-facility transport.
Life Flight Network and Bozeman Health continue to develop robust operational plans that include the stationing of an Advanced Life Support (ALS) co-branded ground ambulance at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital starting July 1, 2021, with the potential prepositioning of Life Flight Network’s Bozeman-based rotor-wing air ambulance at Deaconess Hospital in the future. The agreement allows for the continued use of the Big Sky Fire Department for transports originating from Big Sky Medical Center, however the Life Flight Network advanced life support ambulance will be available as an additional resource should it be needed. Additionally, Life Flight Network has rotor-wing and fixed-wing air ambulances based in Butte and a third Montana based rotor-wing air ambulance located in Missoula that will further support the needs of patients in the greater Gallatin Valley.
The partnership was created to more quickly transport patients in the most medically appropriate and cost effective manner possible. This innovative and patient-centered partnership not only allows for improved coordination of air medical transports but will also improve ground transport capacity that is essential given the harsh Montana winters that can prevent air transports and the expanding patient population in our region.
Life Flight Network is the largest provider of air medical transport services in Montana, as well as the other three states where they operate. Their highly trained pilots, flight nurses, flight paramedics, flight respiratory therapists, ground paramedics, and EMTs represent the highest quality of transport services in the region, as evidenced by several national accreditations.
Life Flight Network’s teams are experienced and capable of transporting patients of all ages and all clinical conditions including neonates and critically ill or injured patients.
The partnership will leverage Life Flight Network’s existing Neonatal and Pediatric specialty care transport teams to facilitate the transport of neonates into Bozeman Health’s new NICU at Deaconess Hospital. Life Flight Network’s Neonatal and Pediatric specialty care teams are staffed around the clock 365 days a year, and transport medically fragile patients daily. These teams are staffed by some of the most experienced neonatal transport RNs and Respiratory Therapists in the western United States. Our clinical care leaders are also collaboratively developing performance metrics to ensure response times in any weather.
Life Flight Network is the nation’s largest not-for-profit air medical company. They have existing agreements with the commercial insurers in Montana – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Pacific Source, Montana Health Co-Op, Allegiance/Cigna, and Medicare/Medicaid. Under these in-network agreements, Life Flight Network accepts the insurer’s payment as payment in full and patients are only responsible for their plan’s deductibles or copays. In addition, Life Flight Network has a robust financial assistance program and works closely with patients who may not have the financial ability to pay for the transport. Bozeman Health has a long history of working to provide high quality care at the lowest cost possible and knowing that most Montanans are covered in-network with Life Flight Network helps us realize that goal.
Bozeman Health knows that Life Flight Network has an in-depth understanding of the terrain and weather that affects Montana. Their ability to assist residents living in or enjoying rural locations or mountainous terrain makes the service they provide extraordinary—and at times—a life-saving necessity for Southwest Montana.
We know that by leveraging Life Flight Network’s critical care and NICU specialty care transport services, we can continue to fulfill our mission to improve community health and quality of life.