Bangor Ambulance Company Settles False Claims Act Allegations
PORTLAND, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank today announced that a Bangor ambulance company has agreed to pay $138,285.30 to settle allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”).
The civil settlement agreement resolves allegations that Meridian Mobile Health, L.L.C., doing business as Capital Ambulance (“Capital”), improperly billed Medicare for nonemergency ambulance transportation of patients discharged from Eastern Maine Medical Center (“EMMC”) from October 2016 through February 2018. The government contended that such patients were not “bed-confined,” and did not otherwise medically require transportation by ambulance. The government also contended that EMMC personnel provided Capital with certification statements containing incomplete or incorrect information about the medical necessity of transporting the patients via ambulance, information Capital later used to bill Medicare.
Prior to the government’s lawsuit, Capital identified instances where it had billed and received payment from Medicare for nonemergency ambulance transports originating at EMMC that were not medically necessary. Capital voluntarily disclosed these results to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine. Capital also cooperated throughout the investigation, and implemented enhanced internal compliance and remedial measures. Federal authorities encourage health care providers to cooperate with investigations involving the possible submission of false claims to federal programs. Entities or individuals that make proactive, timely and voluntary self-disclosures to the U.S. Attorney’s Office may receive credit during the resolution of a later FCA case.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General investigated the case. The civil action is docketed United States v. Meridian Mobile Health, L.L.C. d/b/a Capital Ambulance, 19-cv-00440-JDL (D. Me.)