Ambulance, Hospital to Pay $1.4M in Unneeded Transport Case

Feb 23, 2018

Credit AP Photo

A Scarborough-based ambulance provider has settled with the U.S. Attorney's Office for $825,000 over allegations that it billed Medicaid for unnecessary ambulance rides.

In a separate settlement, Portland-Based Maine Medical Center will pay $600,000.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says that starting in 2007, North East improperly billed Medicare to transport patients who'd been discharged, in ambulances and that ambulance transport wasn't medically needed for those patients.

It also alleges that Maine Medical Center provided North East with statements that were incomplete or inaccurate, which North East used to bill Medicaid.

In a statement, Maine Med says it did nothing wrong. It says for the statements it examined, a qualified medical provider determined that ambulance transport was necessary, but the hospital is settling because a lawsuit would cost much more.

North East Mobile Health Services issued a statement saying that  it denies the transports were not medically necessary, but that the settlement is less expensive than a lawsuit.