Missouri Laboratory Owners Agree to Pay $1.9 Million and Relinquish $7 Million in Escrow in Settlement of Civil Fraud Claims
St. Louis, MO –Kate Palos, 32, of Affton, Missouri, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for her involvement in a healthcare fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Palos was the human resource manager for Express Medical Transporters (EMT), which transported Medicaid patients to medical appointments. In order to receive reimbursements for the transports, EMT had to use drivers who had complied with certain defined requirements. Drivers had to receive CPT and other safety training and not have a history of criminal or other violations that could jeopardize the safety of patients. When EMT did not have compliant drivers, non-compliant drivers would transport the patients. Palos changed, or directed other employees to change, the names on the trip logs and use the names/signatures of compliant drivers. In some instances, Palos used the names of drivers, who were no longer working for EMT at the time the transports were made. These fraudulent documents were submitted to support requests for payment.
Palos faces a penalty up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, and the Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.