Los Angeles Ambulance Service Owners Indicted on 26 Counts of Medicare Fraud
Federal authorities last week arrested and indicted the owners of a Los Angeles ambulance service for allegedly "bilking" more than $2 million from Medicare, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 26-count indictment accuses Gregory Plotkin and Boris Shpirt, the owners of Greybor Medical Transportation, and Daniel Gonzalez, an employee of the company, of "falsifying claims" to Medicare from 1998 to 2000. Authorities also have issued an arrest warrant for Greybor employee Robert White. The indictment against Greybor alleges that the company:
- Falsely claimed that patients were "bed-confined," a requirement for Medicare reimbursement;
- Transported several patients at the same time but submitted claims to Medicare that said they were transported separately; and
- Falsely claimed that some patients were transported to receive dialysis treatment, a service reimbursed by Medicare.
In 2000, Medicare launched an audit of Greybor, and according to the indictment, Plotkin allegedly "submitted altered medical records to cover up the fraud." Jilbert Tahmazian, an attorney who represents Greybor, denied the charges. Plotkin and Shpirt also own Pride Medical Industries and GABA Medical Industries, two medical supply companies that face allegations of Medicare fraud. According to HHS and the Internal Revenue Service, the companies allegedly convinced Spanish-speaking Medicare beneficiaries to sign receipts for equipment -- "some of which was never delivered" -- and submitted the claims to Medicare for reimbursement (Rosenzweig, Los Angeles Times, 6/1). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.