Life Support Ambulance, Co-Owner, And Manager Sentenced For Health Care Fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Bogdan Kmet, 30, of Warminster, PA, an owner of Life Support Corporation, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia, a company manager, and Life Support, Inc., were sentenced today to 36 months in prison, 46 months in prison, and five years of probation, respectively, for an extensive health care fraud scheme. The defendants pleaded guilty to health care fraud and paying kickbacks. The company was located in the Feasterville-Trevose area and was incorporated in 2010. A second owner, Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, PA, is scheduled to be sentenced March 31, 2015.
The defendants operated an ambulance company that transported patients who were able to walk and could travel safely by means other than ambulance and who, therefore, were not eligible for ambulance transportation under Medicare requirements. The defendants, or others acting on their behalf, falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants and their employees knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them were able to walk. The defendants were involved in paying kickbacks to patients so that the patients would continue to be transported by Life Support, as opposed to any other ambulance company. The defendants billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the fraudulent billing, the Medicare program paid more than $1.9 million and Highmark, Inc. paid an additional amount in excess of $150,000 for this inappropriate method of transportation.
In addition to the prison terms, U.S. District Court Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro ordered restitution of $1,912,526.32 to Medicare; restitution of $150,938.78 to Highmark, Inc.; a money judgment of $1,912,526.32; and forfeiture of vehicles. All defendants could be excluded from participating in federal health care programs.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J.D. Hogan.