BY ROSS BELSKY
A Queens-based company has agreed to repay Medicaid $300,000 in overcharges for the transportation of mental health patients under a settlement announced Monday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Apple Transportation of New York Inc., which serves Medicaid recipients, billed the health care program unnecessarily between January 2004 and October 2008. The rides in question were for basic livery services that required no physical assistance for outpatients of mental health programs. But Apple charged Medicaid for Ambulette services, which do include physical assistance for patients and are billed at a higher rate.
The case was investigated by Medical Fraud Control Unit Special Investigator Nancy Calo-Kenney, Auditor Investigator Kashmir Singh, and Medical Fraud Control Unit Acting Director Amy Held.
“Those who bill Medicaid for services they did not provide are stealing from taxpayers and depriving other New Yorkers of needed assistance,” Schneiderman said. “There has to be one set of rules for everyone, and my office will not allow Medicaid providers to siphon funds from the program by over-billing.”
As part of the settlement, Apple admitted “frequently” charging for the higher-priced ambulette service over the four-year period when it wasn’t necessary based on the patients’ needs, according to the attorney general’s office.
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