Ambulance Makes Money on Unnecessary Rides
Ambulance Manager Mikhail Vasserman submitted $3.6 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare at Penn Choice Ambulance, Inc., of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. He was sentenced to five years in prison for 14 counts of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, falsely submitting healthcare statements, and paying kickbacks to patients. Six other employees, including the owner, pleaded guilty to co-conspiracy.
The defendants recruited and transported Medicare patients who could walk and travel safely without ambulance transport, which constitutes medically unnecessary services and does not meet Medicare requirement eligibility. The conspirators falsified medical reports to look like patients were unable to walk, when in fact many of patients walked to the ambulance themselves for transport. The defendants made money off the scheme and paid kickbacks to the patients who participated.
Penn Choice Ambulance was ordered to pay Medicare $1,548,583.93 and Highmark Blue Cross approximately $154,866.81. Highmark provided supplemental insurance to the Medicare patients receiving unnecessary transport. The corporation was also ordered to cease all operations.
To read the whole story, go to the U.S. Department of Justice website.