Emergency Medical Air Transportation
The Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF) contracts with Mercy Air and REACH (part of the AirMedCare Network) to provide emergency medical air transportation coverage to year-round and temporary residents of Borrego Springs. The program covers the deductible and co-insurance that can cost as much as $3,000 or more per flight. To date, the Fund has contributed $146,688 to provide this service to the Borrego community.
To be eligible for coverage under BVEF’s contracts with Mercy Air and REACH, you must be residing in the 92004 Zip code at the time of transport and must be picked up from a location within San Diego County. To qualify as a temporary Borrego resident, you must be residing in Borrego on the day of air transport at a residence that you either own or rent for at least one month during the year.
All Borrego residents are covered under BVEF’s contracts with Mercy Air and REACH so long as they have an insurance plan that provides air medical coverage. If you are uninsured, then you will need to join the AirMedCare Network to receive coverage. Enroll online: https://www.airmedcarenetwork.com/apply
Why Two Providers?
In an emergency situation, the Borrego Springs Fire District’s EMR service will respond and consult with the San Diego County emergency medical air transport medical director to assess whether your condition is serious enough to require air transport. If it is, the county dispatcher and medical director will decide whether Mercy Air or REACH will fly in, and determine the hospital most appropriate to receive the patient. Neither the patient/family nor helicopter crew have a say in these decisions, which is why we maintain contracts with both providers.
The County’s emergency medical air transport protocols are designed to identify an appropriately equipped helicopter that can reach the patient quickly and to select the nearest hospital best equipped to treat the patient’s condition. Patients are most often sent to Eisenhower Medical Center (Rancho Mirage) and Palomar Medical Center (Escondido). Patients requiring more complex treatments will be sent to Desert Regional Medical Center (Palm Springs) or to a medical center in San Diego.
Questions? Please contact Joshua Grossman at (541) 410-4344.