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When the Air Ambulance Bill Arrives

air-ambulanceRecently an article written by the World-Herald highlighted potential issues for people who need an air ambulance. Insurance is the number one concern for most people involved in air ambulance services. This is especially true for patients who don’t plan on using an air ambulance, such as someone who needs to be life-flighted to a hospital to receive special care after a car accident.

Receiving a bill for an air ambulance can be a shock to people. An air ambulance flight can be costly, depending on many factors, and the wrong insurance could stick you with a large sum of the bill. It’s always important to remember that anything may happen. Having coverage for an air ambulance flight is not something many people think about, however with a little education you can avoid getting stuck with a large bill.

In the case of some mentioned in the World-Herald article, some people transported by an air ambulance may find that outside insurance will cover the trip if regular health insurance does not. Some air ambulance companies have contracts with certain insurance companies. If you are involved in a car accident and have car insurance, it is possible that your car insurance will cover an air ambulance trip to a hospital. Typically car insurance covers all ambulance needs. If you don’t have strong health insurance you should first talk with your car insurance company provider to find out what coverages are available to you.

The World-Herald article also covered a man who had to use an air ambulance and was stuck with the entire bill because the air ambulance company that was used in his rescue was out of his health insurance network. If you are in a serious accident you may not have time to choose the right air ambulance provider. Usually the paramedics will decide to call for air ambulances without regard for your insurance.

But most air ambulance companies will work with you to find a payment plan that is right for you, if you are stuck with the full amount of a bill. Also, you may qualify for special reductions in payments if you can prove you have financial hardships. Other air ambulance companies also offer advanced fees that will cover a certain amount of an air ambulance flight. Annual or monthly fees may be available to help in an emergency situation.

At Travel Care Air we understand that most of the people that we serve have questions about insurance and costs. Our team of professionals have been in the air ambulance business for over three decades now, and we understand the complicated nature of insurance and coming up with a plan to make our services affordable. You can call us anytime to talk about cost and let us know about any concerns you have. For more information and for more guidance through the air ambulance process, like us on Facebook.

Holiday Travel Guide and Tips

holiday-travelThe holidays are in full swing and this time of the year means more people hitting the roads and skies. Millions of people travel all over the country and abroad from now until the beginning of January. If you are one of those people there are several tips to successful holiday travel. Whether you are flying or driving to see your friends and family there are keys to staying safe and making your trip as affordable as possible.

Holiday travel is notorious for stress. You can reduce that stress by avoiding traveling on peak travel dates. Because Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Thursdays this year, travel is likely to be more spread out anyways. But it’s always a good bet to avoid travel on the weekend before a big holiday. Most people take time off work and leave on the weekends. If you have a short flight or drive planned, think about leaving on the holiday itself. Leaving on Christmas day means cheaper airline prices and less traffic on the roads.

If you have to drive or fly on a day that you know will be busy with other travelers try to leave early or late in the day. As a rule airports and roads are less congested at times when people would rather be at home or asleep. You are also less likely to encounter flight delays during off-hours. If you fly there is one asterisk with this tip: Staffing is usually low at airports during really early or late flights so still allow extra time for check-in.

If you plan on flying try to book a flight as far in advance as possible. You’ll save on airfare and you’ll have more options. If you can’t leave in an off-peak time give yourself at least an extra hour than you normally would when flying. Arriving at the airport two to three hours before the flight takes off is always a good idea this time of the year.

If you drive, make sure to have your car looked at before you leave. Winter takes it toll on cars so making sure your car is up to par will avoid being trapped in a small town and having to pay later. You should plan alternative routes to your destination as well. Weather and other hazards may shut down your main route, so have a backup plan. You should always have a winter safety kit packed in your car. Kitty litter to help if the car is stuck in snow/ice, blankets in case you break down and need to wait for help, and food are the three big items to pack. Don’t forget about a snow brush (or shovel if you travel in an area that receives a lot of snow), jumper cables and a flashlight.

At Travel Care Air we hope the holiday seasons is festive and safe for you and your family. But if for some reason you need help, our air ambulances are ready to go any time of the day. For more information about our services and for more travel tips, follow us on Twitter.

Air Ambulances and Cancer Travel

air-ambulancesCancer is the most dreaded disease. Fighting the disease is often a difficult fight and making sure you have the best care is key to winning the battle. Air ambulances are often used by cancer patients who are in need of the best possible care. Air ambulances can help in your time of need by taking you where you need to go for the best possible care. Air ambulances can also help you connect with your family and friends to help you in the recovery process.

When battling cancer location is key. In some cases you will need to travel to get the treatment that you prefer. This is especially true if you are trying for a clinical trail that isn’t readily available in your general vicinity. Some trials do have multiple locations, so it is important to research before you pick the first place that you find. Always keep in mind that the more difficult the trial the more you want to find professionals who know what they are doing. Don’t opt for the lowest cost.

If you decide to travel you have a number of air ambulances that can help you. You can look for private air ambulances that will take you to your destination in a private setting. Private air ambulances mean you will be able to be cared for in a controlled environment with staff and pilots that understand your needs. You can also opt for commercial air ambulances. Even people who require oxygen or other medical needs can fly on commercial flights. Typically working with air ambulances professionals will help you book a commercial flight and their staff will accompany you.

Before you make any plans check your insurance to see what it will cover. In some cases part or all of your travel will be covered based on your insurance packages. Insurance can cover air ambulances, hotel stays, hospital stays and more. Always speak with a professional to find out what kind of insurance you have and what benefits are available to you.

At Travel Care Air our air ambulances are ready for you in your time of need. No matter how dark the outlook our air ambulances can help transport you where you need to go so you can have the chance to defeat cancer. For more information about our air ambulances and how they can help you, plus other travel and health information please follow us on Twitter.

Keys to a Healthy Thanksgiving

ID-100119091According to research conducted by the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving just by eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. The findings also account for pre or post-meal snacking. Either way, it’s a whopping number, considering that is more than double the calories that most of us need. If you are looking to be healthier this Thanksgiving we have lots of choices for you to make that are light on the waste but big on taste.

One of the best ways to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving is by eating breakfast. Most people skip both breakfast and lunch knowing they will be eating a lot at the dinner table. But experts believe that if you eat a small meal in the morning your appetite will be reduced later in the day and you will eat less as a result. Eating a nutritious breakfast with protein and fiber will curb your desire to pig out later in the day.

There are also lighter options for your Thanksgiving menu. The American Council on Fitness and Nutrition estimates people eat over 220 grams of fat during the Thanksgiving Day meal. You can cut some of that fat by using fat-free chicken broth to make the turkey and gravy. Instead of fat as a thickener use alternatives like corn starch. For snacks, use fat free sour cream for your dips. It also works well as a substitute for butter in mashed potatoes. Reduce butter and oils where you can. You can also look for sugar substitutes in place of sugar. Fruit purees work well instead of pure sugar.

Turkey is the main course at the Thanksgiving Day table for many. Believe it or not, most of the bird is actually pretty healthy. Avoid the skin on the turkey to avoid extra calories and fat. A 3-ounce portion of light meat with no skin has 132 calories with three grams of fat. The fat doubles and calories rise by 30 if you include the skin. Many people prefer darker meat and it does include more minerals than the white meat. Dark meat has about double (15%) of the recommended daily iron intake compared to white meat.

What do you do if you opt for that traditional meal? If you’re on a diet, don’t panic about one day. If you overeat on a consistent basis that is a problem. But over-doing it for one day is not a big deal. Eat lean over the next few days and you will be right back on track. When you are trying to be healthy it can be easy to be hard on yourself. So don’t fret over one day. Remember, stress adds pounds as well!

FAA Sets Date for Air Ambulance Rules

air-ambulanceIt has been said that those working in the air ambulance industry are working in the most dangerous job in the world. Some studies have confirmed this, while other studies have found otherwise. What we do know is our air ambulance staff are always ready to help those in need. An air ambulance mission can take our staff into some really remote areas to rescue someone in need. Now the Federal Aviation Administration is stepping up efforts to help air ambulance professionals stay safe.

Starting on April 22, 2015 new air ambulance rules will go into effect for air ambulance companies. Most of these rules are aimed at helicopters, however key pieces of new rules are aimed at keeping everyone safe. With over 75 air ambulance companies in the United States, counting Travel Care, and over 1,500 helicopters flying around, these new regulations will help pilots better do their jobs.

One key change that will take effect in April has to do with weather. Pilots will now be able to determine whether to take off from sites where weather reports are unavailable. This is especially important for air ambulances that end up in very remote areas. Pilots will now be able to determine if observed visibility and ceiling is greater than the specified minimums and will be able to fly based on those determinations.

The FAA says about 400,000 patients are transported by air ambulance every year. Because these new rules are aimed at helicopters it will greatly improve safety of air ambulance missions that fly at low altitudes. These new rules will help keep patients and staff safer with new technologies like night vision goggles that will assist pilots flying at night.

The FAA’s progress in implementing these rules have led to some debate. These rules were originally set to go into effect this past April, however the FAA decided to push the rules back another year to give air ambulance companies time to adjust. The Office of Inspector General started to look at air ambulance rules and how they would be implemented starting in 2013.

At Travel Care we are always on the look out for ways to keep our patients and staff safe. We welcome input from the FAA, especially their decision to allow pilots to do what is best for all involved during an air ambulance mission.

How to Avoid Surgical Site Infections

722933_40274941Surgical site infections are infections that can occur after surgery in the part of the body that had the surgery performed. Surgical site infections can lead to a number of complications and may lead to a second operation. Surgical site infections are rare: They happen only about 2% in all surgeries. Still there are necessary steps to take after your surgery to avoid infection.

Post surgery examinations are key to recovery for most major procedures. When visiting your doctor enure they have taken the necessary steps to avoid infection. All health care providers that examine you should wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your doctor if you don’t see them wash.

During your meetings with your health care providers you should pay close attention to instructions about deep breathing and exercise. Walking is sometimes an important part of post-recovery however if you are a active person you may need to talk to your doctor before trying anything too strenuous. Come up with a plan to help you avoid post-operation illness like pneumonia.

Keep a close eye on any wounds and dressings. If they come loose let your doctor know immediately. Stitches or staples can also come loose and provide an opening for infection. Usually stitches or staples can be removed anywhere from a few days to a little less than a month after surgery. Surgeons may also use skin glue for smaller wounds. The glue used in this case is waterproof, however you should never try to remove it yourself after the first 10 days after surgery.

When you recover from surgery visitors can be a welcome break from the boredom. Friends and family visiting can help boost your morale but they can also bring unwanted illness into your home. Communicate with family and friends and tell anyone who might be feeling sick to stay home. When friends and family do visit make sure they are clean. Ask them to wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer both before and after visiting with you.

Cleaning yourself can be an issue after surgery. It is usually possible to have a shower or bath 48 hours after surgery, however talk with your doctor for the best plan going forward. Showers are the safer option because your wounds won’t soak in water like in a bath. Avoid using any cleaning products directly over the wound and dry the surrounding area with a clean cloth.

Your diet is also key to avoiding infection. Your body will require a lot of energy to heal and what you put in your body will make a difference. Healthy, balanced diets with plenty of fruits and vegetables are a good idea after surgery, and any other time. Keep yourself hydrated. If you are diabetic keep an extra-close eye on your blood sugar.

5 Key Winter Driving Tips

air-ambulanceThe realty of winter is  here, with a cold blast that affected much of the United States this weekend giving us the first taste of what’s to come. One reason why people need an air ambulance during the winter is because of accidents related to weather conditions. On average an air ambulance is called into action much more in the winter than any time of the year and road accidents combined with injuries during winter sports play a significant role in the increase of air ambulance use. To avoid ever seeing an air ambulance there are tips to driving safely this winter.

1. Slow Down, Even in Rain

Ice and snow aren’t the only dangerous weather conditions. Winter storms can bring significant rainfall to parts of the country and hydroplaning is a serious threat to accidents. Driving 5-10 miles under the speed limit during any poor weather is always a good idea. And don’t forget to leave enough room between you and another car in case you have to hit the breaks suddenly.

2. Don’t Forget the South

Many people like to poke fun at the South when it snows because people in the North are more equipped to deal with the weather. If you are from the North and travel in the South during the winter don’t dismiss a small amount of snowfall. The reasons why accidents rise in the South during even minimal snowfall is because they don’t have the salt, trucks and infrastructure northern states have to deal with snow.

3. Have Supplies Ready in the Car

You should always be prepared if you plan on traveling in a storm so you don’t get stuck without ways to survive. Typically an air ambulance can be called to rescue you in a remote area, but if cell phone service is poor it may be difficult to contact an air ambulance company. Always have a heavy blanket in your car, food and enough water for up to three days of survival.

4. Drive Like a Pro in the Snow

If you’re not used to driving in the snow or ice there are several key steps to take. One often forgotten rule is to drive in a lower gear. Driving in a lower gear will help you car with traction. That’s especially helpful in hilly areas. Also break gently and give yourself extra time to stop. With standard breaks you can usually pump them gently. If you start to skid ease up on the break and steer into the direction you want the wheels to go.

5. What to do if You’re Stuck

Getting stuck in the snow is a common problem. As part of your winter car supplies keep kitty litter handy. You can pour kitty litter, sand, gravel or salt in the path of your wheels to help gain traction. You  should also keep a shovel handy in case you have to dig your car out of a ditch or parking area.

At Travel Care Air our air ambulance is here for you anytime of the day. We hope that you have safe travels this winter, especially during the holidays. But if danger comes your way our air ambulance will be ready at a moment’s notice to help rescue you. Our air ambulance provides safe, reliable transport domestically and internationally. For more information and more travel tips like us on Facebook.

International Air Ambulance Istanbul to Toronto Recap

international-air-ambulanceTravel Care Air is the leading international air ambulance company. Recently we had the opportunity to help someone in Turkey return home to Toronto. It was a short notice mission that came together quickly and ended with the yet another successful international air ambulance mission.

The entire trip took only about 48 hours from start to finish and began last Friday. Just a few hours after our agreement with the patient’s family our crew was on a commercial flight heading to Turkey. The crew stopped in Prague for typical rest and arrived in Istanbul on Sunday morning.

Once the crew arrived they met with the patient. The man, an 83-year-old fighting pneumonia at and his son met us at a hospital in Instanbul. After the typical bedside services we were able to load the patient and our trip home began.

The flight made a couple of different stops before heading to Toronto. The international air ambulance went from Istanbul to Prague, then to Iceland and Newfoundland before making its final stop at the destination in Toronto.

We were happy to bring this patient back to Toronto to receive the care that he needs. Unfortunately he is bedridden, but an international air ambulance service like Travel Care Air is here to help accommodate and our staff was able to give the man the care that he needed during the long flight back home. Anytime we have the chance to bring father and son and family back together in a short amount of time it reminds us of why we do what we do.

At Travel Care Air our international air ambulance is ready at a moment’s notice. Like this mission we can have our crew heading to assist you within hours. Our international air ambulance staff will provide top level care and comfort for you and for your loved ones. For more information about our international air ambulance services and for travel tips and helpful information please follow us on Twitter.

Medevac Honors Medical Assistants Recognition Week

medevacThis week is Medical Assistants Recognition Week. As the heart of the health care in the United States and all over the world, medical assistants provide several key needs for people that work in health care. Medical assistants also provide a vital role in the medevac industry.

You may think of a medical assistant as administrative staff who take appointments, however that is just one component of this profession. Medical assistants run the gambit from scheduling, medical records, as well as clinical duties like preparing patients for examination, medical histories and drawing blood, to name a few. Overall just over 571,000 people work as a medical assistant in the United States alone.

Medical assistants are people who truly care for the people that they help. Many work long hours and don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Medical assistants in the medevac industry are typically called into action at a moment’s notice and often risk their lives to help save lives. Nearly half of all medical assistants make under $32,000 per year and some make work on a volunteer basis. The average medical professional makes around $14.50 an hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most medical assistants are the people that are responsible for communicating with medevac professionals when we are called to help transport a patient. Case managers often handle these roles and can be anyone from administrative professionals to nurses that work at the hospital. Case managers are the key that help medevac teams discharge a patient from a hospital.

Medevac flights also can have the support of medical assistants. Medical escorts are a key component of our medevac flights. These escorts help ensure a safe and easy flight and can also provide a smooth transition if we are meeting a patient at the airport instead of a hospital. Medical assistants also provide vital information to our staff about our patients, including diets, medicine, allergy and medical information.

At Travel Care Air we are proud to honor our medical assistants as well as those who work in hospitals to help save lives every day and help the medevac industry. Medical assistants are a wide range of people who take pride in the work they do and we are proud of our team as well as everyone we work with. For more information about our services follow us on Twitter.

A Guide to Handling the Flu

ID-10099477Did you know more Americans have already died from the flu this season than the lone man who died from ebola? Deaths due to influenza have already been reported in Idaho, North Carolina and South Carolina. While ebola is garnering more media attention and concern from many Americans, you are far more likely to contact the flu virus this fall or winter. On average about 15% of Americans will get the flu this year but you can take measures to help prevent the disease from spreading to you.

Flu Shot Pros & Cons

If you’re like me, you are terrified of shots. Many people debate whether or not to get the flu shot. There are pros and cons to the debate, however it is widely accepted among health officials that getting the flu shot is the best idea for you and your family.

What are the cons of the flu shot? It’s not full proof. Even with the shot you still have a 20% chance at getting the flu. Because there are many different strains of the flu there is no way to prevent it totally. Along the same lines, you may need multiple shots, which can be costly, if you don’t have health insurance. Also, allergies to eggs may make you ineligible for the flu shot because many of the shots are developed through the use of an egg protein.

But for most people the pros far outweigh the cons. Even if you are still at risk for a particular strain of the flu you are far less likely to contract the illness by getting the shot. It’s especially important for children and the elderly, who have higher risks associated with the flu. The shot, despite what many believe, does not give you the flu. Flu shots are almost dead, or dead viruses that help your body develop antibodies against the disease.

Other Prevention Methods

Aside from the flu shot there are other preventative steps to take during the flu season (lasting from fall through early spring). Hand washing and sanitizing office equipment, children’s toys, bathrooms and kitchens will all help prevent the disease. Frequent hand-washing has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring the flu and other diseases by up to 20%.

Sleep is another important way to stay healthy overall, but it especially helps prevent the flu. Proper rest gives the body the time to boost your immune system. You can be 30% less likely to develop a cold or flu by sleeping seven to eight hours each night. A well balanced diet also plays a key role in fighting influenza.

Fighting the Disease

If you have the flu be sure to see a doctor immediately. Antiviral drugs will help you fight the disease. They are not available over the counter. It is important to act fast once you are sick. The Center for Disease Control reports antiviral drugs work best against the flu within two days of getting sick.

It’s also important to get rest when you get the flu. The CDC recommends staying home from work or school for 24 hours AFTER your fever subsides.

Drink clear liquids, especially water and avoid close contact with others so you don’t spread the disease.

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