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Texas court sends ambulance operator to prison for fraud

A Texas court recently sentenced a 46-year old local man after he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The accused owned and operated the ambulance company in the Houston area from 2009 through 2012.

Outline of allegations: The ambulance company owner allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for ineligible or unprovided services. He also allegedly filed for payment of individual rides when the prosecution states he had multiple passengers in the vehicle.

The prosecution states the accused billed over $2,835,930 for fraudulent ambulance services. He pled guilty to the allegations in July of 2018.

Court provides sentence: The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas reports the court sentenced the accused to 63-months imprisonment. The sentence, just over five-years long, also comes with an additional three years of supervised release.

Harsh penalty for a reason: The court further states it handed down the harsh penalty as a means to “deter future health care fraud.”

Lesson to ambulance owners and operators in Texas: The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office continues to crackdown on health care fraud. As such, ambulance companies are wise to review their billing practices to make sure they are in compliance with applicable rules and regulations. A failure to follow proper billing protocol can result in allegations of health care fraud.

Those who face these allegations have options. An attorney experienced in health care law can review the allegations and discuss legal strategies to better ensure your rights are protected.