(WXXI News/AP) The private ambulance company that serves Rochester and many other communities across the U.S. has reached a voluntary settlement concerning Medicare payments.
Rural Metro has agreed to pay the federal government more than $2.8 million to resolve civil allegations that the company defrauded Medicare.
The federal government said that from 2007 to 2011, companies owned by Rural Metro in Arizona, New York, Oregon and Delaware billed Medicare for numerous emergency patient transportation trips when the calls were not emergencies, leading to substantially higher payments from Medicare for the services.
In a statement, Rural/Metro said it had reached a voluntary civil settlement agreement that does not include any admission of liability. The company says it agreed to settle to avoid expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Rural Metro has provided ambulance service to Rochester since 1988, and is now in the second year of a four year contract. City Hall spokesman Gary Walker says Rochester continues to closely monitor agreements made with all of its service providers including Rural Metro and he says the company is meeting its service and contractual agreements.
The company said the payment will have no effect on its ongoing restructuring efforts under a bankruptcy filing.