Medicare fraud is out of control. Taxpayers lose billions each year to a wide variety of Medicare fraud scams. Not only do these scams hurt taxpayers, some also endanger the lives of patients. A recent case in Philadelphia, however, suggests that sometimes patients are part of the problem.
One type of Medicare fraud involves ambulance transports. Some dishonest companies overcharge Medicare by billing basic transports as “advanced life support.” Other ambulance companies recruit healthy patients and pay them to take an ambulance to routine appointments. Recently the United States Department of Justice charged four former patients of Brotherly Love Ambulance Company with accepting illegal kickbacks. Prosecutors say the four men knowingly accepted the kickbacks and did not need ambulance care.
To date, the investigation of the Brotherly Love Ambulance company has resulted in criminal charges against 4 former patients, 2 workers and the former founder and president, Feda Kuran. Last November Kuran was convicted and sentenced to 64 months in prison for her role in the Medicare fraud.
In total, prosecutors say that Brotherly Love’s actions cost taxpayers $4 million. Under the False Claims Act, businesses and individuals that engage in Medicaid or Medicare fraud may be subject to triple damages.
Medicare only pays for ambulance transportation if it is medically necessary. Non-emergency transports do not qualify unless the patient is bed confined and can’t be transported by conventional means. Unless an emergency, a doctor’s order is needed for routine transports.
The indictment against Kuran said her company transported patients that did not qualify, sometimes took people to appointments in personal vehicles but billed Medicare as if by ambulance and even billed Medicare for ambulance services when patients drove themselves to appointments.
The 64 month sentence was probably influenced by Kuran’s actions after getting caught. The government’s sentencing memorandum says that after cops searched Kuran’s business, Kuran sold her patient list to another company that in turn offered her a kickback. After pleading guilty to the fraud charges, prosecutors also say that she lied to the Social Security Administration when trying to obtain disability benefits for her son.
MahanyLaw is a full service whistleblower and fraud recovery law firm. We help our clients put an end to fraud, seek justice and receive the highest possible award allowed by law. Whistleblowers with inside information about Medicare fraud can receive up to 30% of whatever the government collects.
Need more information? Contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704- 6731. All inquiries kept in complete confidence. We also invite you to visit our EMS / ambulance fraud and Pennsylvania whistleblower information pages.
MahanyLaw – America’s Medicare Fraud Lawyers