Texas Supreme Court Addresses Reimbursement of Air Ambulance Billing


Earlier today the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Texas Mutual Insurance Co., et al v. PHI Air Medical, LLC, a case involving a critical issue of interest to Texas workers’ compensation insurers.  Pending before the court was the question of how air ambulance companies should be reimbursed for services rendered to injured Texas workers.  Some air ambulance companies have asserted that the federal Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) preempts state workers’ compensation laws and insurance carriers must pay the companies’ billed charges, regardless of any state rules or guidelines. This has been a long running legal dispute which, as of January of 2019, had almost $50 million in Texas air ambulance charges in dispute.
The Court, addressing constitutional issues, federal law and Texas law, concluded the ADA did not preempt the fair and reasonable reimbursement standard under the TWCA.  The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant victory for not only carriers, but also the integrity of the Texas workers’ compensation system. 

ICT’s workers’ compensation counsel, Burns, Anderson, Jury, and Brenner, LLP, prepared this summary of the opinion which you may find here. We have also included a copy of the court's decision here.

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