Nov 27, 2018

Air ambulances' sky-high prices

Patient getting evacuated in a medical helicopter. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Air ambulances can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often don't provide an explanation of why they're medically necessary when there are ground options available, CNN reports.

By the numbers: Almost 50 million Americans didn't live within an hour of a level 1 or 2 trauma center as of 2005, and rural hospitals have closed in droves since then. Air ambulances have filled that gap, growing dramatically just in the past few years. Their price tags keep growing, too — the median cost of an airlift is now about $30,000, per CNN.

Go deeper: Why ending surprise medical bills is harder than it looks

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Hospitals are starting to get their coronavirus cash infusion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The federal government is sending $64 billion to hospitals, post-acute facilities and other medical providers to help cope with the coronavirus fallout.

Yes, but: Even though more funding is coming, safety net and rural hospitals fear they are getting a raw deal from the way some of the money is being distributed.

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Biden, Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead.

What to watch: As Biden courts Sanders' endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders' agenda, a person familiar with those plans tells Axios.

Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

President Trump was flanked at yesterday's briefing by HHS Secretary Alex Azar (far left), Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's aides, encouraged by virus data showing fewer deaths than once projected, are working behind the scenes to deliver on his vow to reopen America "sooner rather than later."

What to watch for: A senior White House official said there’s a lot of internal energy pushing for May 1, because that's the end of the White House's "30 Days to Slow the Spread."