Emergency Medical Services Alliance (EMSA) recently agreed to settle a claim based on allegations of Medicare fraud. Federal officials claimed that the ambulance service provider was submitting false claims for compensation from Medicare and Medicaid. This allegedly resulted in over $109 million in fraudulent payments.
Background: What led to these accusations?
The case involved Paramedics Plus, LLC, a contractor out of Texas that provided EMSA with ambulance drivers. The government accused Paramedics Plus of paying kickbacks to EMSA in an effort to keep its contract with the ambulance provider. These allegations are countered by the fact that paperwork was present outlining the agreement within the bounds of the law.
The group maintains its innocence. In a statement in Tulsa World, the Chairwoman for EMSA stated that the group had “clear evidence” that there was no wrongdoing and would “love to go trial” because the evidence was strongly in their favor.
Ultimately, the group decided the cost of maintaining their innocence was too high. The group determined the expenses of a court case were too costly. As such, the board unanimously voted to take the settlement to “stop bleeding expenses.”
Take away: What can Texas healthcare providers learn from this case?
This case provides an example of one of the many avenues to explore when navigating accusations of fraud. A settlement, like the one agreed to in this case, can be a viable option.
Ambulance companies can face an array of allegations, including billing issues, price-fixing charges and civil right violations. Ambulance companies that find themselves facing such accusations are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in these matters can advocate for your rights and better ensure your interests are protected.