FWA (NY)- Schenectady ambulette service pays $800K over Medicaid fraud


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[MM Curator Summary]: Ismat Farhan stole $862,000 from you via your W-2 using a services not provided scam for his ambulance company. He did not say thank you.


Clipped from: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/schenectady-ambulette-service-pays-800k-medicaid-17849729.php

Ismat Farhan, owner of USA Medical Transport, will pay $862,500 to the New York State Medicaid Program, according to the settlement.


SCHENECTADY — New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday announced a settlement with the owner of a Schenectady-based medical transport company that was found to have billed Medicaid at least $400,000 for transportation services that were not provided.

Investigators determined that Ismat Farhan, through his company USA Medical Transport, submitted more than 2,500 false claims where either the transportation services never happened, did not occur as described or lacked the required documentation, according to the settlement agreement.

“Medicaid is meant to help support the medical needs of vulnerable New Yorkers, not to pad a company’s profits,” James said in a statement. “Farhan and USA Medical Transport took advantage of their patients and taxpayers by billing Medicaid for thousands of services that were never provided.”

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Farhan will pay $862,500 to the state’s Medicaid program, according to the settlement.  

Under state and federal false claims law, state authorities can fine Medicaid providers up to three times the amount they can prove was fraudulently billed. It’s common for the state to settle with the provider for double the amount, according to the attorney general’s office.

USA Medical Transport is still providing services. An attorney for Farhan declined to comment on the settlement. The agreement requires 25 percent of the company’s Medicaid reimbursements to be held back to satisfy the settlement.

Medicaid recipients are eligible to receive transportation to and from appointments with health care providers. Medicaid reimburses enrolled transportation companies for these services. To operate as a Medicaid transportation provider, a transportation company must certify that it will follow the Medicaid program’s rules and regulations, including submitting claims only for services that took place and maintaining thorough records documenting those claims.

State investigators found that between June 2015 and February 2020, Farhan submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid, including for rides that were not provided, mileage amounts significantly greater than the ride, single rides that should have been bundled as a group ride, and tolls that did not occur.

The company also reported rides by drivers with suspended licenses, including Farhan.

The investigation was conducted by the Albany Regional Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The unit seeks to identify Medicaid fraud and protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect. Anyone with information about Medicaid fraud or about an incident of abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident can file a confidential complaint online or call the MFCU hotline at 800-771-7755.