Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is HI Flying?
HI Flying - Air Ambulance International is a complete solution to your Medical Transport needs. We offer the broad spectrum of services which includes both -
Commercial Airlines Flight Transfers
Air Ambulance Charter flights
Based on patient clinical status, we can plan a transfer for your loved one - in the most safe and affordable manner.
If your patient is stable, we can plan the transfer on Business class with a basic medical escort.
If your patient is critical but stable, you can opt for a Commercial Airline Stretcher services
If your patient is critical, we can plan the transfer on a ICU on wing - a dedicated Air Ambulance flight.
1. Why should I Use HI Flying ?
HI Flying has been in the business of Medical Travel and Medical Assistance since 1991.
It has completed over 3000 Air Medical Transportations on commercial and charter flights.
With over 100 happy clients, be it an Individual, Patient relatives, Hospital, Corporates or an Insurance & Assistance company, we are able to provide Professional timely services at an affordable cost.
We are available 24/7/365 to take your call, plan the options of travel and help you choose the right one.
2. What type of patients require an air ambulance?
Patients that need to be transported distances over 300 km and require medical care from our team of expert doctors and nurses can take an Air Ambulance flight.
They are patients who because of their clinical status are unable to travel on Commercial flights or located in areas where Commercial airlines do not fly.
HI Flying typically transports patients injured while on a holiday who needs to go home, patients with serious medical conditions needing transportation to a tertiary care hospital that has capabilities unavailable locally, chronically ill patients who want to relocate close to family members, and patients who are located in Military bases and are injured and needs to be taken home.
Marine personnel forms a large part of transportation of HI Flying.
3. Is Air Ambulance service covered by Medicare or other insurance plans?
Many insurance plans, HMO’s, PPO’s and IPO’s cover air ambulance services. If you have insurance and the flight meets medical necessity criteria HI Flying will verify your benefits before departure.
Medical necessity carries a strict criteria such as life-threatening/limb-threatening emergency and transport to the closest appropriate facility.
Additionally, insurance may only pay a maximum amount leaving family responsible for deductibles and co-pays.
4. Can HI Flying assist me in deciding whether my insurance will cover the charges?
Yes. Our Insurance Specialists will liaise with your insurance company on your behalf and attempt to obtain benefit overviews and/or pre-authorization, whenever necessary. In these instances, HI Flying will be responsible for submitting all claim forms, letters of medical necessity and other pertinent documentation. If Hi Flying is able to obtain an authorization from your insurance company we will not require payment at the time of service. However, in some instances we may ask for a retainer if we are not able to verify information up front.
5. If I must pay out of pocket, how much might the service cost?
Many factors decide the final cost of an Air Ambulance transport. The primary factors being the distance flown, the type of aircraft utilized, and the medical needs of the patient in flight.
We are the most affordable in the industry. We also have a volume business and we can utilise our empty leg flights to provide economical quotes for you.
Our escorts are located in various hubs all around the world and we can schedule the nearest escort to your location in the shortest possible time.
6. I have a Quote from another provider - Can you give me a lower cost?
Yes! We can. If you have a lower quote, we can match or beat that cost.
This is for similar services for same qualified Medical escorts on Commercial airlines or similar type of Medevac Aircrafts.
It is good to understand that cost varies because there are different types of aircrafts for medical transportation.
There are basic Turboprop aircrafts for short distance transfers or Jet Aircrafts which are also Small, Mid or Large Jets for long distance transfers.
The cost varies accordingly.
7. What questions can I ask to determine if an Air Ambulance company is qualified?
This is a very good question because all providers do not offer the same level of quality. The cheapest company is often not the best choice. A “yes” is an important response to the following:
1. Does the company have a Medical Director?
2. Is the company’s aircraft licensed as an air ambulance aircraft by the aviation authorities.
3. Are the pilots employed by the aeromedical service or have a contractual arrangement through a lease agreement?
3. Is the company licensed in their jurisdiction as an air ambulance?
4. Does the company have liability and malpractice insurance?
5. Is the company an actual provider or are they a broker?
6. Does the company staff each flight with a qualified doctor and a nurse or paramedic?
7. Is the aircraft pressurized?
8. Are the medical crew members working for the aeromedical company?
9. Are the medical crew members trained in altitude physiology?
10. Is the Medical Director involved with each flight?
11. Does the company provide “bedside to bedside” service?
7. Does HI Flying provide international evacuation service?
Yes. HI Flying has extensive experience in international evacuations around the world. We can arrange for our medical team to transport the patient on a long-range aircraft or as a more cost effective solution, arrange for a stretcher to be placed on a commercial aircraft. Commercial medical escorts can be less than half the cost of a private jet.
HI Flying has evacuated patients from Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, United States and Central and South America and many other countries throughout the world.
8. Why is it better to deal with an Air Ambulance provider and not a broker?
A broker normally does not own aircraft, equipment, or employ medical teams or pilots. They advertise as an air ambulance service and when they receive an inquiry they call multiple providers and then “broker” the flight to the cheapest provider. They then add a profit for themselves included in your quote. In a sense, becoming the middle man. The problem is that the cheapest provider may not offer the highest level of quality nor have the capabilities required by the patient. The advantage of dealing direct with an Air Ambulance provider is that these companies can directly control the quality of their service since they employ the pilots and medical crews, own the aircraft and equipment, and directly oversee operations.
9. What is "bedside to bedside" service and why is it important?
Bedside-to-bedside service means that the medical crew is with the patient from the discharging Medical facility, on the flight, and until arrival at the receiving Hospital. Although many companies do not provide this service, HI Flying feels that bedside-to-bedside service is very important to avoid any complications with the patient at turn of care and also to keep in mind any type of federal regulation related to transfer to lower level of care. It allows our crews to maintain continuity in care, even while on the ground ambulance and also ensures that a detailed medical report is given to the receiving medical crew.
10. May a family member come with the patient?
Normally yes and there is no additional charge. There are however cases where our Medical Director may not approve a family member for a variety of reasons that may impede patient care.
We encourage family members to travel so as to be a source of emotional support to the patient and it is reassuring for the family too.
11. What arrangements does HI Flying make for the flight?
HI Flying makes all arrangements regarding the air ambulance flight. This includes obtaining a pre-flight medical consult or report of the patient condition at their current discharging facility, arranging ground ambulances at both the discharging and receiving ends, ordering in-flight catering, handling insurance paperwork if necessary, notifying the receiving hospital of the arrival time and confirming bed availability, as well as any special requests of the family.
For Commercial flight Transfers including Business, First or Stretcher, we take care of all Medical Clearance procedures, ticketing of patient and relatives, all ground Ambulance transfers hospital to tarmac and at times can even take care of your Hospital bills.
12. What assurances are there that the aircraft is safe?
All of the aircraft AeroCare uses are operated by our two Part 135 Operators, who are bound by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations outlining pilot training, duty time, aircraft operation, and maintenance. HI Flying utilizes pilot crews that have been trained annually at Flight Safety or an equivalent factory approved, simulator based program and conduct risk assessments for each mission. All Hi Flying Aircraft are designed and equipped for all weather operation and have outstanding safety records.
13. When is a fixed-wing air ambulance used instead of a helicopter air ambulance?
Helicopter air ambulances are generally used for short emergency transports (approx. 300 kms or less) of patients that require emergent care. For instance, a person that has been injured in an automobile accident and needs to be medically air-lifted to the nearest hospital. A fixed-wing air ambulance are used to transport stable patients long distances from one medical facility to another between two airports or air fields.
We provide Helicopter evacuation services at select locations.