Can Ambulance Companies Violate the FCA?

Yes, just like other healthcare entities, ambulance companies can violate the False Claims Act (“FCA”).

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Recently, an ambulance company in Connecticut entered into a settlement agreement with the federal and state governments.

The ambulance company, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. (“AMR”), paid over $600,000 to resolve allegations of improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid. AMR also paid a penalty of $25,000 to the State of Connecticut.

The allegations against AMR included overbilling. The government alleged AMR was billing for Advanced Life Support services (“ALS”) when really only providing Basic Life Support services (“BLS”).

BLS services are performed by an emergency medical technician or can relate to transport. ALS requires a paramedic and a higher level of medical monitoring.

The FCA seeks to prevent healthcare entities from overbilling or fraudulently billing Medicaid and Medicare.

To protect your healthcare practice from and FCA violation, make sure you are frequently auditing your billing and training your staff.

If you have questions, reach out to your healthcare attorney to assist you in your audits.

As always, make sure your compliance plan is up to date and actively used. Your compliance plan should not be a binder sitting on a shelf.

If you need help with your compliance plan, audits, or training staff, contact Rickard & Associates today!

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