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Helicopter to the ER

Mark Scott mark.f.scott at gmail.com
Thu May 7 14:18:21 BST 2015


I agree, business is business. However, business follows the principles of supply and demand. As the article notes, Air Methods has quadrupled their charges over the last 4 years; yes, oil has gone up in the last few years, but that doesn’t explain this kind of increase—air fares have not quadrupled over that time, for instance. The number of helicopters has exploded over the last several years, while flight hours per copter have fallen to levels last seen in the 1980s. All signs point to a combination of over-supply and over-charging for a service that really has a fairly static demand. Rather than follow the principles of a free market economy, and cut supply and/or charges to match demand, Air Methods is seeking to prop up their losing business model in the most un-business-like fashion possible, by trying to convince congress to raise medicare reimbursements to match their inflated charges. You wouldn’t defend a pickpocket’s “right” to pinch wallets on the sidewalk; this is no different, except the pocket here is the US Treasury.

Mark Scott, MD
Surgical Critical Care Fellow
MedSTAR Washington Hospital Center


> On May 7, 2015, at 08:27, Doc Holiday <drydok at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I am certain people will comment on this, but let's all remember to be careful so as not to appear as if we aim to stand in the way of profit-making!
> 
> After all, business is business and if it chooses to use medical services rather than selling shoes or flipping burgers as the substrate on which it feeds its revenue, then who could argue with that?
> 
> Helicopters are risky and expensive. Big risk; big investment; big profit or big failure - there is an issue of scale which attracts attention to this aspect of business more than, say, to how much is charged for a box of tissues at some business hospitals. But this is not fair. Business is business and the primary principle must be that profit is the only overriding objective. The provision of health-related services (or shoes or burgers) is merely the means...
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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