Costly air ambulance bills highlights neighbor island issue - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Costly air ambulance bills highlights neighbor island issue


HONOLULU (AP) - A Kauai man is suing his health insurer over a $36,000 air ambulance bill.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday the case illustrates the high costs of emergency air transport, which is essential for people living on the neighbor islands. On islands where there are limited health care services and specialists, it's common to transport patients on flights to Honolulu.

Toby Sidlo filed the lawsuit after falling into a bonfire last year during a beach football game. Doctors decided to fly him to a Honolulu burn care unit for treatment.

There are two Hawaii air ambulance providers. The average cost for a flight is $40,000.

State Sen. Josh Green is a Kohala Hospital emergency room doctor. He says doctors select the company that can transport the patient the quickest.

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