Matt Ellis of Air Evac spoke to the Logan City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 13 about the emergency air medical transportation services program for businesses and towns, which enables them to provide a very special emergency benefit to employees that could save the employees a lot of money if they ever have to be airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
Ellis said Air Evac has a new landing pad near the Kruger building at Logan Regional Medical Center and has some new jets located in nearby eastern Kentucky for those patients who may need long distance transport. Air Evac bills a patients insurance for the transport costs - which can be prohibitively expensive - and as most insurance does not cover the full cost of such service, paid memberships from members pay for the rest.
“Our members never get a bill,” Ellis said, noting that even if somebody has 80-20 coverage a $10,000 transport bill could still leave a sick or injured person holding the tab for $2,000 dollars at a time when they could least afford it. “With Air Evac membership, that does not happen,” Ellis said.
Ellis said the Employee Membership Program has been very popular with local businesses and that those businesses or towns who utilize it can provide a low cost-high value benefit for their employees and their families for as little as $60 per employee per year.
Air Evac has been in Logan County for three years now and has been heavily utilized. He noted that the company came into effect as a way to provide speedy transport within what paramedics and doctors call “the Golden Hour” noting that for many people the opportunity to get to a level one trauma center within sixty minutes makes a dramatic increase in the probability of a person surviving and recovering from an accident or illness. Air Evac has military trained pilots as well as nurses and paramedics on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they currently make about 40 to 50 flights per month in Logan.
“We have a lot of the same equipment on our copters that you will find in an ICU or Emergency Room,” Ellis added, noting that Air Evac also provides patient transport from one hospital to another if needed.
The service can be used in many places across the nation as Air Evac has 160 helicopters in 26 states from West Virginia to Arizona, as well as the jets.
Cost to the city to provide the service to its employees would be under $2,700 for over 40 households.
Councilmembers discussed the proposal. City Attorney Kendal Partlow said he recommended looking further into the matter and “and digesting it a little bit” before making a decision.
Councilman Jay Mullins noted that many firefighters or cops or other city employees could wind up in a financial bind paying for medical air transport because of the deductibles and such on their current insurance causing them financial problems at the worst possible time.
“That is why I asked Matt to come here and talk about this,” Mullins said.
In other city of Logan news:
• Council approved a resolution for a grant for renovations to the walking bridge in the Central City area. Mayor Serafino Nolletti said the process would be long, drawn out and complicated. The Mayor said the city will need $5,000 for matching funds for the project as the Logan County Commission and the Logan Board of Education agreed to come up with the other $10,000 in matching funds.
• Councilman Ken Lee said he was happy to get the process started considering how important the bridge was to so many people over the years, especially children walking to school.
• City Building Inspector Ray Perry discussed updates in the city’s Flood Plane Ordinance. Perry said that if the project moved forward that it could eventually save the city’s residents 10 to 15 percent on their insurance premiums. Kendal Partlow said the council could approve the first reading and have a second reading next month if approved. The measure was approved.
• Council approved payment of $70 thousand in bills.