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U.S. government suing Roanoke Rapids ambulance service

Posted December 3, 2010

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— An ambulance service in Roanoke Rapids is being sued by the federal government, which alleges that it submitted false or fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims over the past six years.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services filed a complaint in federal court against Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad, saying it transported patients for routine medical treatments who did not meet eligibility requirements for ambulance service.

“RVRS knowingly claimed on its Medicare claim forms that patients were unable to stand and that the transport was medically necessary,” according to the suit, “even when the information available to its employees indicated that the patient was able to sit, stand or walk on the day of the actual ambulance service.”

Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad could not be reached for comment Friday.

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  • Sherlock Dec 3, 2010

    Being an ex-EMT,many times I was told to write it up so they can bill for it. That was the only way to get paid. Also homes told us it was not their job to transport because they were not paid to do it.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 3, 2010

    "RVRS knowingly claimed on its Medicare claim forms that patients were unable to stand and that the transport was medically necessary,” according to the suit, “even when the information available to its employees indicated that the patient was able to sit, stand or walk on the day of the actual ambulance service."

    So listen up Seniors. Make sure you stay laying down, otherwise, Obama will make you walk to the Hospital.

  • Just the facts mam Dec 3, 2010

    I agree ambulance billing is messed up - often times the ambulance service is just trying to find money any way they cann as many of the poeple they take to the hospital will not be paying for one reason or another, and it obviously costs money to operate an ambulance service.

  • imdicktrickle Dec 3, 2010

    Sounds like some criminal charges might be in the woodpile.

  • imdicktrickle Dec 3, 2010

    What a sad little town. The local experts got them into the Dollyworld mess and now this. Lots of drama for such a tiny town. It sounds like there's a serious crime there everyday.

  • Conservative1 Dec 3, 2010

    The nursing home in Weldon has a van that they use to transport patients. The nursing home in Roanoke Rapids has never had their own van to transport people and it seems like they should. It does seem like the nursing homes should have to share the blame.

  • common_sense_plz Dec 3, 2010

    It seems to me that the nursing homes should be responsible for such transports, not and ambulance. Why can't the ambulance service tell staff at nursing homes...we cannot transport because the patient is ambilitory.

  • exxe75 Dec 3, 2010

    You wouldn't believe the EMS systems in NC that have corporate integrity agreements with the gov't for just this thing. The first EMS job I ever held was at a small medical transport company in Johnston County. We were sent to nursing home to transport a man to dialysis. When we arrived, the patient walked out to the ambulance and insisted he ride in the front seat of the ambulance. I documented this, and was quickly written up by the owner because he told me that he couldn't bill for that call because of my documentation! Glad I stood my ground on my documentation. I soon left that service and that service soon closed it's doors. This is just one example of many, and I'm sure that this squad was told to do the same thing so they could bill for the transports. EMS billing is just a sad thing.

  • Skywatch_NC Dec 3, 2010

    More deep poo for Roa Rpds!

  • Sherlock Dec 3, 2010

    I have known a lot of individuals that were able to wqalk, set, stand, etc.. that call an ambulance to just get a free ride to hospital, the government needs to look at all these services through out the US. and u'll see this.