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Wed Sep 30, 2015, 09:46 PM

Houston highlighted in audit exposing ambulance schemes

WASHINGTON ó Medicare paid $30 million for ambulance rides for which no record exists that patients got medical care at their destination, the place where they were picked up or anywhere else.

The mystery ambulance rides are part of a bigger problem with Medicare payments for transporting patients, according to a federal audit released Tuesday.

The Department of Health and Human Servicesí inspector generalís office also found some urban ambulance services got paid for an average distance of more than 100 miles per ride. That contrasts with a national average of only 10 miles for urban ambulance rides.

Four major metro areas seemed to be breeding grounds for ambulance schemes. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York and Houston accounted for about half of the questionable rides and payments. Medicare has barred new ambulance companies from joining the program in Houston and Philadelphia, and the report recommends a similar approach in certain other places.

Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/national-world-news/20150929-houston-highlighted-in-audit-exposing-ambulance-schemes.ece

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