Facing rising costs from aviation partner, LifeFlight sets up in-house air operations (Portland Press Herald)

Maine’s air ambulance provider had previously contracted its aviation management to a firm with a reputation for rapidly increasing costs.

(Portland Press Herald) PORTLAND, Maine —LifeFlight, Maine’s only emergency air ambulance provider and a key lifesaving asset for islands and other remote communities across the state, has taken direct control of its aviation operations.

The move frees the nonprofit from an aviation services contractor now owned by a venture capital firm that has become notorious for charging patients and their insurers about twice as much as hospital- or nonprofit-owned rivals.

“The consolidation drive in the industry has been driving up costs for us and for our patients,” said Tom Judge, LifeFlight’s executive director, who estimates that taking air services management in house will save $760,000 to $887,000 a year, or almost a tenth of its aviation budget. “If we can keep ourselves lean we can redirect resources to the pointy end of our operations and improve the services to patients.”

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