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Measuring Value One Life at a Time

Now in its 26th year as Maine’s sole air medical provider, LifeFlight has served more than 38,000 patients from every town and hospital in the state. It has become nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in the field of transport medicine for quality, safety, community service, and innovation.

In 2023, LifeFlight cared for 2,468 critically ill and injured patients, using three dedicated medical helicopters, a fixed-wing airplane, and specialized ground ambulances.

That equates to about one patient every 3.5 hours.

LifeFlight transports critically ill or injured patients of all ages needing specialized care beyond what can be provided by local hospitals. These include premature infants, cardiac and stroke patients, and people experiencing a complex traumatic injury, organ transplant, sepsis, burns, and serious obstetric complications. We use the strictest medical utilization criteria in the country to make sure all flights are medically necessary. Emergency medical providers are guided by state-mandated protocols based on the latest research and best practices.

LifeFlight operates much like a hospital emergency department, taking care of all patients regardless of a person’s ability to pay. We contract with all major payers including Medicare, MaineCare, and commercial insurers.

Where do these patients come from?

  • 87% of requests for LifeFlight are from physicians in community hospitals whose patients need “critical response” in one or more areas—ICU-level specialty care, sophisticated equipment not available in the hospital, or rapid transport to a distant medical center in Maine, Boston, or beyond.
  • 13% of requests are from local first responders for a helicopter to come directly to an emergency scene, which may be in an isolated location such as an island community or a remote recreational trail.
– Air Traffic Control Tower Portland International Jetport