You thought ambulances were expensive ON LAND…


September 12, 2019

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Today, Chinese farmers grapple with ongoing swine decline and the hungry Hong Kong Stock Exchange puts it all on the line, but first…

The Hustle Daily Email

Air ambulance industry hits turbulence amid potential regulations

The private air ambulance industry is flying high … and so are prices for emergency airlifts. 

And, as Axios reports, the costs of medical air transports didn’t climb so high by accident.

Hospitals used to own and operate their own choppers… 

And they used them to transport critically ill or injured patients between facilities or from remote areas. Although hospitals often lost money on these programs, they saved lives.

But in the early 2000s, private equity investors started buying these programs and billing patients directly… and charging sky-high prices.

Between 2007 and 2017, the average price at one company spiked from $13k to $50k. Smelling profits, other investors soon pounced: Between the ’80s and 2017 the number of air ambulance companies rose by 1,000%.

So, how did they turn medical choppers into for-profit machines?

These firms commissioned paramedics, nurses, and doctors to “promote” them to emergency personnel … even if there weren’t true emergencies at hand. Soon, 80% of flights were routine transports, not emergencies. 

Companies also billed privately insured patients more than others, expecting their insurance companies to pay more. 

Now, the Senate wants to land on a solution

The US Senate health committee recently introduced a bipartisan plan to reduce surprise medical bills — and it took aim at the hot air spun out by air ambulance companies.

The plan would require insurers to pay median in-network rates to out-of-network providers, capping the amount of money doctors, hospitals, and medical helicopter service providers can collect.

The air ambulance companies have criticized the plan, claiming high private rates are necessary to offset low government reimbursement rates and arguing the plan would result in the closure of rural ambulance bases.

Flight… Controlled?
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In a strange exchange, Hong Kong’s stock exchange bids $36.6B for London’s exchange

Yesterday, the owner of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange made a $36.6B offer to buy its European peer, the London Stock Exchange.

If the deal were to go through — and that’s a BIG if — the merger would produce an economic giant that would span Europe and Asia at a time when economic outlooks on both continents are increasingly uncertain.

So, why would either exchange do this?

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has traditionally seen plenty of investment thanks to its status as a “bridge” between Western markets and Chinese companies. 

But recent trade tantrums on both sides of the Pacific (and protests in Hong Kong) have led to a slowdown in trading in Hong Kong — and a British boost could strengthen the Asian exchange.

In London, it’s a different story: The city’s traditional status as a global financial hub is in jeopardy thanks to Brexit — but a partnership with Hong Kong would tie the renegade European capital to a number of booming businesses in Asia. 

Now, the London Stock Exchange has to make a big choice

To get the mega-merger off the ground, the London Stock Exchange would likely have to scrap the $27B acquisition of the financial data company Refinitiv that it agreed to less than 2 months ago. 

Now, the European exchange is left with a choice…

Option A: Proceed with the Refinitiv deal 

  • Opportunity? Gain a foothold in the growing market data industry
  • Risk? Divert resources from its core market exchange

Option B: Abandon Refinitiv and merge with Hong Kong Stock Exchange 

  • Opportunity? Expand its market access across Asia
  • Risk? Lose some localized control over its exchange
Choices, choices…
Things you should…

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As China’s pork-pocalypse continues, it will tap into its ‘strategic pork reserves’

In China, it’s become a whole lot pricier to pig out over the past year thanks to an African swine fever that has devastated hog herds.

China’s pig population has shrunk by a third, causing the price of pork in China to increase by almost 50%

And the Chinese government is dreaming pig to solve the problem

Pork, a cultural staple, is the most popular meat in China. Chinese pork-ivores consume about 60m tons of pig each year — as much as the rest of the world combined.

The Chinese government has dispensed some of its “strategic” swine reserves, which it keeps frozen and on hand for times like these — and the country will likely need to dig deeper into this supply, given the increased demand for pork during the holiday season.

Can the US lend a helping hoof? 

Our hooves are tied due to the trade war with China, which intensified when the US imposed a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods early this month. American producers see China’s pork shortage as a potential opportunity for their piggy banks, but current tariffs on US pork products — at a whopping 62% — make Babe unaffordable.

The National Pork Producers Council has urged the White House to settle the Chinese trade dispute.

For its part, China appears to be lifting tariffs on some American goods in high demand — like cancer drugs and pesticides — but pork didn’t make the cut.

Quit your swining!
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“All onboard!”
 
Hustle Con News

In case you haven’t heard, Hustle Con is December 2-3, 2019. We couldn’t be more excited to bring back The Hustle’s flagship event — especially with this year’s first-ever Day 2 addition.

Here’s the latest: 

📈 We added Heidi Zak, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of ThirdLove, to our lineup. ThirdLove is one of the fastest-growing bra and underwear companies in America, pioneering online bra sales with their innovative Fit Finder™ — used by over 14m women to date. 

📓 The Day 2 breakout session titles are nearly final. Attendees will select from 3 distinct tracks: 1) Side Hustlers, 2) Founders looking to hone skills, and 3) Founders ready to go big. Each breakout will be taught by a fellow founder with a hyper-specific focus like: “How to get liquidity as a founder.”

🛂 We’ve had a record number of visa applications from international attendees. Big shoutout to non-US Hustle readers. If you’re international and need info, shoot us an email.

🏨 Need a place to stay? If you’re interested in staying at a hotel or hostel during the conference, check out our FAQ with a few suggestions ranked by distance.  

2-Day Early Bird tickets are still on sale, saving you $75 off full-price. Don’t miss out.

See Tickets
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