Ambulance Company Owners Directed Employees to Create False Trip Reports
The owner of an ambulance company and her son were sentenced to 6 years and 4 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in an ambulance fraud scheme. Each of them was also ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to Medicare and Medicaid.
According to the government, the defendants transported patients in wheelchair vans for routine and non-emergency trips, but then billed Medicare and Medicaid for much more expensive ambulance transports. The defendants also created false medical records to make it appear that the patients had traveled by ambulances instead of in wheelchair vans.
A critical part of the fraudulent scheme was getting employees of the ambulance company to omit information from trip reports and other medical records. For example, the government alleged that the defendants instructed their employees to omit information concerning the ability of patients to walk and ride in wheelchairs. As a general rule, Medicare and Medicaid do not reimburse for non-emergency ambulance transports if the patient is able to walk or ride in a wheelchair.
Most Medicare and Medicaid fraud schemes require the cooperation of the provider’s employees. Often, the employees are asked to modify trip reports, treatment notes, and other records so that more services, or more expensive services, can be billed to Medicare and Medicaid.
This puts the employee in a very dangerous situation. If the government discovers that fraudulent claims were submitted to Medicare or Medicaid based on false records created by an employee, then the employee could find themselves in handcuffs and facing a long prison sentence.
If your employer has asked you to falsify trip reports, treatment notes, or any other type of medical record, then you should consult with an experienced Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawyer immediately to protect yourself. You may be entitled to legal protections and even a substantial reward for helping the government stop fraud.
To arrange a free and confidential consultation with an experienced healthcare fraud attorney, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728, or click here to reach our law offices via email.
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