(STL.News) – An ambulance transportation company that operates throughout Virginia has agreed to pay $110,000 to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to Medicare for ambulance transports, in violation of the False Claims Act.
The United States government alleged that, for a two-year period between 2014 to 2016, some of the claims submitted for reimbursement for non-emergency ambulance services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by LifeCare Medical Transports, Inc. (LifeCare), headquartered in Fredericksburg, were not medically reasonable or necessary, and/or not supported by the medical record. As a result, LifeCare allegedly received funds to which it was not entitled.
The settlement announced today resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. The government’s claims are based on a whistleblower suit filed by a former employee of LifeCare. A whistleblower suit, or qui tam action under the False Claims Act, is commenced by an individual, known as a “relator,” filing a complaint under seal in the U.S. District Court, and providing a copy of the complaint and other evidence to the local U.S. Attorney. The United States then has an opportunity to investigate the claims. The False Claims Act provides the whistleblowers with a share of the government’s recovery.
The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the FBI. Assistance was provided by the Defense Criminal Investigation Service and the Office of Personnel Management.
This matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ilene Albala and Monika Moore. The civil claims settled by this False Claims Act agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.
Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit are on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cv-1327.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.