By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Innovation is a big reason Angel MedFlight continues to be the standard in worldwide air ambulance service. Whether it’s through our expanding fleet of jets or our in-house team of case managers, legal, medical and aviation experts, Angel MedFlight continues to separate itself from the rest. We’ve done that also by adding someone who is both a nurse AND a lawyer to our staff. Meet Amy Franciscus, who along with Julie Longmire, works tirelessly as a clinical liaison advocating for patients.
Franciscus, who considers herself a nurse first, passed the bar exam last year. Her background includes working as a nurse for insurance companies and writing policy for them. Her experience in health insurance gives Angel MedFlight added insight into the industry which ultimately benefits our patients.
A native of Wisconsin, Franciscus traded in cold winters for the hot summers of Arizona 23 year ago. She says she’s always been passionate about the law and how it impacts health care and nursing practice.
Her interest in law goes back to nursing school. She credits a great faculty that encouraged her to get involved and steered her toward student organizations (she’d become the president of the Student Nurses Association of Arizona).
“It was through this type of exposure that I found a passion for how legislation and different rules and regulations impact our practice and how we can take care of our patients.”
Franciscus’ focus has always been to advocate for the patient, which is what makes her such a great fit at Angel MedFlight.
Longmire and Franciscus work together as a team but Longmire acknowledges that her colleague has a deeper level of experience with insurance companies and with legal writing. “Amy brings that element to my writing and helps me to focus on answering the questions that the insurance companies are going to have,” says Longmire.
One of the more important tasks our clinical liaisons undertake is writing letters of medical necessity for physicians. These letters ultimately go to insurance companies to authorize air medical transport. The letters can be for prior authorization or after the flight during the claims process. Franciscus says, “the majority of plans are going to require some sort of letter of medical necessity.”
Franciscus says many providers write letters of necessity for their patients to get coverage from the insurance company. But where we are different is we write these letters on behalf of the provider. Longmire adds, “We feel that it’s important to really tell the details of everyone’s story because everyone’s story is so different. And you can’t just fit it in to a form. So that’s why we do it.”
Providers are ultimately responsible for the letters of medical necessity. But Longmire says, “What we’re trying to do is help save them some time and energy and also avoid the physician’s prescription that just says ‘Needs to go by air ambulance,’ because for insurance companies, that’s not going to satisfy their questions of why. We try to answer all those questions and advocate for the patient and tell their story in that letter.”
You can see our commitment to patient advocacy in our in-house legal department, claims and through our clinical liaisons. With her nursing and legal experience, Amy Franciscus is Angel MedFlight’s dual asset when it comes to getting the best care for our patients.