Ambulance Service Medicare Fraud: Ambulance Company Operator Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud
Because ambulance services make up a large and growing portion of Medicare spending, there seems to be a growing tendency on the part of ambulance services to defraud the system. The cost to taxpayers often run into the hundreds of millions of dollars every single year.
In one such case in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Feda Kuran, the operator of the Brotherly Love Ambulance Co., has pleaded guilty to one count of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and another for violating the federal anti-kickback statute. According to court records, she fraudulently billed Medicare for ambulance services that either weren’t medically necessary or were not actually provided. In some cases, Brotherly Love Ambulance provided services in return for illegal kickbacks. In all, she defrauded the Medicare system for more than $2 million. She will be sentenced on July 24, and she faces up to 15 years in prison with three years of supervised release, as well as a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the government.
Medicare fraud on the part of ambulance operators is becoming far too common, and comes in many forms, some of which are difficult to detect. Sometimes, they bill Medicare for unnecessary transport, for dialysis patients and others who could make the same trip in a car, a cab or on a bus. Other times, they “upcode” the classification of the transport, to imply that they provided a higher level of service than was actually the case. They also often charge for supplies or service they never used. And too often, ambulance services make deals with hospitals, called “swapping arrangements,” in which they agree to lower cost services in exchange for referrals of non-emergency discharge patients.
There is an excellent chance that the federal prosecutors who brought this case were informed of the details by a whistleblower. If that’s the case, under the False Claims Act, that whistleblower may be entitled to compensation from the restitution they receive. If you have knowledge of any sort of Medicare fraud under the False Claims Act, you may be entitled to compensation if you expose them. Contact the Medicare Fraud False Claims Act Attorneys at Hill Law Firm to help you.