FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (WEHT) – An Illinois ambulance company has agreed to a settlement over allegations of improperly billing Medicare for non-emergency ambulance transportation.

The ambulance company, HealthOne Critical Care Transport Service Inc. d/b/a (MedicOne) Medical Response of Marion, Illinois, has agreed to pay a total of $302,124.37 in a civil settlement agreement. The settlement resolved the allegations that the company improperly billed Medicare for scheduled non-emergency ambulance transportation.

“Health care providers that bill Medicare for medically unnecessary services improperly divert funds needed to care for beneficiaries while increasing the financial burden on taxpayers,” stated Special Agent in Charge Curt L. Muller of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “Along with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate health care schemes to protect the integrity of federal health care programs.”

The complaint was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, and the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Court documents say the government alleges MedicOne’s former location in Mount Vernon routinely billed Medicare for non-emergency ambulance transports to regularly scheduled dialysis treatments when the services didn’t meet Medicare requirements. They further allege that MedicOne typically picked up patients at their residences or nursing homes and transported the patients three times a week to and from Dialysis treatments for years.

“Billing for unnecessary ambulance transports wastes taxpayer dollars and drains critical funds from the Medicare program,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Our office is committed to
protecting the integrity of federal health care programs.”

The government alleges that these transports did not meet Medicare requirements because the services weren’t medically necessary and cost Medicare hundreds of dollars.

“Public health insurance programs, such as Medicare, can incur significant financial loss when their programs are exploited. Those losses cost the government and ultimately impact every American contributing to the rising cost of health care for everyone,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Springfield Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “This settlement is a result of the FBI’s commitment to work with our federal and state partners to ensure that federally funded health care programs are not abused by providers.”