Helicopter transport service provider shuts down

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Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:07 PM EST
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - LifeNet of Michigan, a 24-hour helicopter transport service provider, announced March 8 was its last day in service.

“It has been an honor serving this community, which became like a second home for our crew members, for nearly two decades,” the Saginaw company said in a Facebook post.

The company said the decision to close was not taken lightly.

“Air Methods – our parent company – made the difficult decision of closing our base due to the tremendous pressure from the No Surprises Act (NSA) and the government’s failure to update Medicare reimbursement in nearly 20 years. After exploring every option available, it was determined that it was simply unsustainable to keep our LifeNet of Michigan open,” the Facebook post said.

The company went to hospitals in mid-Michigan, the Thumb, and parts of northern Michigan.

As a result of Air Methods’ decision to close its Saginaw base, Covenant HealthCare has partnered with Ascension St. Mary’s for emergency air transportation.

The partnership began on March 8 and provides emergency air medical transportation services by FlightCare.

“It’s the patients who truly benefit from this healthcare partnership,” said Beth Charlton, president and CEO of Covenant HealthCare. “Air transportation is a key component in responding to emergency medical situations. Our mission is to ensure services are available to patients who need them. Initiating this local collaboration made sense as we continue to fulfill our mission.”

FlightCare is located at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw.

“FlightCare has flown thousands of patients over the course of their years of dedicated service, led by a highly-skilled medical team, some who have been with the program since inception,” said Stephanie Duggan, regional president and CEO, Mid/North Region, Ascension Michigan. “Highly trained and experienced in critical care and advanced lifesaving skills, the FlightCare team is committed to providing each patient with the care they need, when they need it.”

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