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Post date: February 9 2007

Port Chester Medical Transportation Company To Reimburse Medicaid $503,000

NEW YORK, NY (February 9, 2007)—Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that Raymond Bates, the owner of Bates Ambulette, a Port Chester, New York, taxi company, has agreed to reimburse $503,795 to the New York State Medicaid Program.  Bates Ambulette, which specializes in providing transportation to Medicaid recipients who attend day treatment programs in Westchester County, billed Medicaid for services that were not supported by documentation demonstrating that they had actually been provided.  Specifically, Mr. Bates agreed to repay Medicaid $372,772 for unsupported billings, together with $131,023 in interest.  

The investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that from January 1, 1998 through January 1, 2003, Bates Ambulette repeatedly billed Medicaid for services for which it lacked required records establishing that the company actually transported Medicaid recipients.  To prevent and deter fraudulent billing, Medicaid requires its health care providers to document and retain records that establish the nature and extent of the services that they provide to Medicaid recipients.  Under the law, Medicaid will not pay for services that are provided without this documentation.  While the Attorney General’s investigation revealed unsubstantiated billings, the investigation did not uncover evidence of fraudulent conduct, and Mr. Bates and his company cooperated with the investigation. 

“This office will vigilantly protect the substantial investment New York taxpayers have made to provide high quality health care to the elderly and poor through Medicaid.” Cuomo said.  “Health care providers and contractors that fail to adequately document services they claim to provide will be called upon to repay the system, even where, as in this case, there was no evidence of fraud.  If fraud is to be prevented, the rules must be followed.”

As part of the settlement agreement, Bates Ambulette agreed to allow the New York State Department of Health to withhold a weekly portion of its Medicaid payments until the entire amount of the settlement, plus interest, is repaid by Bates Ambulette.