What is a Medflight?

Medflight ambulances are staffed with teams that may include: ” Pediatricians ” In-flight surgeons ” Paramedics ” Intensive Care Nurses ” Internal Medicine Specialists ” Organ transplantation teams ” Respiratory Therapists While the pilot and flight crew are never distracted from the flight deck to assist in caring for a patient, the rest of the staff work together to make sure that the patient remains stable.

As necessary, they are equipped provide CPR, ventilation, or other life support measures. While there is no single standard as to what type of aircraft is used, medflights are usually performed in fixed wing aircraft. They vary in size from small, single engine turboprops to large Gulfstream jets and helicopters. The aircraft to be dispatched is selected according to availability, the geographic location of the transfer or the distance to be covered by the medflight. Whatever type of aircraft is used, you can be sure it has been selected for its fast, versatile performance during emergencies and safe track record in being used in thousands of critical situations. Medflight care is on the rise: With tourists heading further and further afield, there is no wonder that the services provided medflight care are in more demand than ever before. Advanced medical techniques also allow in-flight medical teams to provided specialized care for immediate stabilization. The added benefit of safe and efficient transfer to a hospital or medical center means that many more patients can be saved than by means of traditional ground ambulance transfer.

What is a Medevac?

Medevac, a short form for Medical Evacuation, involves the use of specially equipped aircraft to provide care and transportation to critically ill patients. Air ambulances are often dispatched to scenes of serious accidents, natural disasters or even war zones to assist with casualties. They offer on-site medical care when traditional ground ambulances are not possible or practical. Most often, medevac services are used for inter-facility transfer of critical patients from one medical center to another or on the scene assessment, stabilization and airlift.

How does Medevac work?

Using fixed-wing air ambulances, ranging in size from single-engine turbo prop planes to Leer jets to Gulfstreams, are dispatched according to the needs of the patient. Compared to rotor wing aircraft, fixed wing planes offer the benefits of flying higher, faster and farther. Medevac air ambulances are staffed with a specialized team of health care providers. The teams may be comprised of Critical Care nurses, Paramedics, Respiratory Therapists, Physicians and Specialists. Air lifts are most often used in cases of: ” Trauma, especially spinal or neurological ” Severe burns ” Neonatal infants ” High risk patient transfer ” Cardiac arrests, heart attack and strokes ” Organ procurement Air ambulances used for Medevac services are able to offer care that is comparable to a mobile intensive care unit. Medical teams are able to provide C-pap and Bi-pap ventilation and other life support as necessary.

What do Medical Escorts Do?

Medical escorts are highly trained physicians, paramedics and nurses. They are on call twenty four hours a day to travel remote areas on a moment’s notice in order to provide urgent or emergency medical aid. Whether individuals are hundreds or thousands of miles from quality hospital care, medical escorts can provide on-site treatment including defibrillation, ventilation and trauma assessment.

Most importantly, when time is the most critical factor, they can continue care on an air ambulance. Air lifts ensure that the patient is transferred from a remote area to hospital or medical center, often within a matter of minutes. In less serious cases, patients may be transferred on commercial airlines with the support of a medical escort. Usually, the airline will allow the individual to travel on a row of economy seats or in first class for comfort.

However, individuals in need of intensive care and monitoring are generally transferred by air ambulances or helicopters.

The Option of Going Home

One of the key benefits of air ambulance services with medical escort staff is that ill or injured individuals may have the option of returning to their home country for treatment. Once the patient’s condition has stabilized,medical escorts can continue providing care even during an extended flight home. This allows the individual to receive the hospital care of their choice, in familiar surroundings in their first language and with the support of friends and family.

What payment types are accepted for Air Ambulance Transport? Can I use my Insurance?

Patient Payments

For direct patient or family member payments, Credit Card, Money order and money wire transfers are accepted. Contact BestCare Air at 1-866-331-3186 or info@bestcareair.com to speak to a financial representative.

Visit our Cost Savings Page for more info about the BCA Cost Savings Program.

Insurance Claims & Payments

For insurance claims, our Legal Department will work with your to verify that your insurance policy covers:

  • Non-emergency air ambulance transportation to a higher-level care facility or home
  • Obtaining pre-authorization before considering payment for transport

Contact BestCare Air at 1-866-331-3186 or info@bestcareair.com for assistance with processing insurance claims and obtaining pre-authorizations.

What type of Medical Team and Medical Equipment is used in an Air Ambulance Transport?

An Air Medical Flight Team typically consists of 1 to 4 healthcare personnel: a flight paramedic, respiratory therapist, registered nurse or a medical doctor.

Medical Equipment

An Air Ambulance aircraft is equipped with a full mattress stretcher, oxygen, cardiac monitor, CPR equipment, IV Pump, ventilator, and various medications to accommodate the patients current condition.

 

Can Family Members or Pets fly with patients during Air Ambulance transport? What else?

The number of passengers is based on the aircraft, patient’s health, and length of transport. Typically 1-2 family members can fly along with the patient.

Luggage

Generally there is room for 1-2 carry-on-pieces of luggage. Shipping can be arranged for all non-essential items including regular and electric wheelchairs, portable oxygen tanks and over-sized suitcases.

Meals

Meals are normally offered for patients and family members on flights over 3.5 hours.

Pets

Pet accommodations must be determined in advanced. Vaccinations and a pet carrier is required.

Hazardous Materials

Some items are considered hazardous by the Dept of Transportation (DOT). Please check with the flight coordinator for a complete list of prohibited or restricted items not allowed on an aircraft.

What is an Air Ambulance?

An Air Ambulance is a flying Mobile Intensive Care Unit equipped with a full mattress gurney, advanced life support equipment, medication and a flight-trained medical staff.

An Air Ambulance is used when a patient requires:

Common Domestic and International Air Medical Services

What can I do to prepare for Medical Air Transport?

There are 3 main parties involved in most medical air transports: Patients/Family, Case Managers and BestCare Air.

As a patient or family member preparing for air ambulance transfer, it is important that we work together to prepare the following information and items:

  1. Transfer Info:  We will determine your date & time of travel and the name of destination and receiving physician or family member
  2. Identification:  We need to secure patient’s Government issued ID or passport/travel documents (if traveling international)
  3. Medication: Let us know about all of the patient’s necessary prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
  4. DNR:  If applicable, please provide a Prepared Out-of-Hospital DNR form.
  5. Luggage: Please pack and prepare the patient’s luggage and traveling necessities.

 

Your Medical Case Manager will:

  1. Deliver all of your medical & physical history, list of medicine and necessary equipment to BestCare Air
  2. Help with filling your prescription medications
  3. Help with obtaining an Out-of-Hospital DNR (if applicable)
  4. Help with preparing the Memorandum of Transfer

 

BestCare Air will provide:

  1. Full medical ground & flight team will be arranged and coordinated with necessary medical equipment
  2. Bed-to-Bed coordination of ground & air ambulance transportation from origin to destination
  3. Coordination of your family members, case managers and hospital at origin & destination
  4. Help with filing your Insurance Claim with medical documentation
  5. Reimbursement for insurance payments (if applicable)