Med-Trans to take over air ambulance service for SEMAAD next March

Med-Trans to take over air ambulance service for SEMAAD next March

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Texas-based air-ambulance service will take over flight operations for the Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District (SEMADD) next year.

SEMADD's contract with Med-Trans Corporation and its associated medical partner Ochsner Hospital begins on March 1.

Med-Trans, which has dozens of bases in about 20 states, is replacing Baptist Life Flight, which had served the nine counties in SEMAAD since 2007.

It's contract with the district ended on Sept. 30. Another company, Air Methods, has been operating the Life Flight service since then and will continue operations until the new contract with Med-Trans begins.

"When a resident of the district, the nine-county district, is flown emergently on that (Med-Trans) helicopter, then there will be no bill to the patient," said Dr. John Nelson, president of the SEMAAD Board of Directors. "They will bill the insurer, or if they're not insured, there will be no bill at all. Now, in addition to that, they will continue to respond to calls outside the district, whatever county.  The difference will be those residents will get charged for that transport," he said.

SEMAAD was established in 1971 and is the oldest continuously operating air ambulance district in the nation.

It had included 10 Pine Belt counties until 2009, when Lamar County withdrew from the district.

Emergency management officials in Lamar County said Life Flight will continue to provide air ambulance service to them for the foreseeable future.

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