A Texas appellate court on Thursday ruled that federal aviation law does not prejudge state laws governing payment for medical services and returned a lengthy fee dispute between air ambulance providers and occupational injury insurance companies to a court of law.
PHI Air ambulances licensed as an airline by the Federal Aviation Administration and as an air taxi by the United States Department of Transportation, subjecting it to federal oversight. As a provider of emergency care, PHI is also subject to state regulation and when it transports an injured worker, Texas Workers & # 39; Compensation Act its payment.
The payment to be paid to suppliers is often determined by fee guidelines issued by the Texas Division of Workers & # 39; Compensation, but if the division has not adopted an applicable guideline, the insurer must reimburse the supplier a "fair and reasonable" amount.
A dispute arose between PHI and a group of air ambulance providers and insurance companies related to the transport of 33 covered workers between 2010 and 2012, according to documents in PHI Air Medical LLC. Texas Mutual Insurance Co., filed with the Texas Court of Appeals, 3rd District, Austin. was preceded by TWCA's repayment provisions, the effect of which was that the insurance companies had to pay the invoiced fees in full. The ADA prohibits states from adopting provisions that have a significant impact on airlines' pricing.
The Court of Appeal stated that TWCA had no significant effect on PHI's prices, at least at this stage of the proceedings when the correct amount of compensation has not been finalized and that ADA does not prejudge TWCA's regulation of airline compensation.
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