Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Save And Some Good, Old Fashioned Medicare Fraud

Dispatched for a male, short of breath. On scene we found a 73 year old male with all the classic signs of really, really bad CHF. Long story short- oxygen, nitro (many), C-Pap- put one in the save column. My partner and I felt pretty damn good about the whole thing- we worked well together, the patient "got better". It was great- that's why we stay in this business.
We then spent the next four hours on what our EMS Supervisor is calling a non emergency transport. In fact it was a four hour, two way wheel chair van trip- that Medicare is being billed for at the ALS ambulance rate. You know your EMS service has some moral issues associated with it's non emergency transport policy when your patient tells you she asked for a wheel chair van and she's more comfortable in her wheel chair but claims "they told me they had to send an ambulance for this kind of thing". This patient walked to our stretcher, sat down, positioned and covered herself. We folded up her wheel chair and took it with us- because when we arrived at our destination she got herself off the stretcher, stood up unassisted, walked over and sat down on the wheel chair. My partner and I wheeled her into the building, dropped her off, had some lunch and then repeated the farce on the return trip. I'm sure once the W word(wheelchair)makes it to billing we'll get orders to leave her on the stretcher "to make things look legit"
You know, aside from being immoral and professionally degrading, it's criminal- it's good old fashioned Medicare fraud. No one seems to care all that much- the folks at Medicare have their heads up their collective asses, the doctors sign off on these shady transports and the EMS managers are not only happy to do them, they'll rig the paperwork.
I guess they'll help pay for all those "water condition" calls we respond to in order to artificially boost our call volume...
... and provide a steady flow of cash for the volunteer board to embezzle...

1 comment:

Paramedic Training said...

Thanks for sharing your experience.