Williston Rescue Squad fined $800,000 for fake claims

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

WILLISTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- A Barnwell County ambulance service is in hot water with the feds for false Medicare claims. The Williston Rescue Squad will have to pay back $800,000 to right the wrong.

Investigators with the United States Justice Department say the rescue squad billed Medicare for routine, non-emergency ambulance rides that were not medically necessary and created false documents to make those rides appear to be covered under Medicare guidelines.

A clinical social worker at a facility that regularly received patients transported by Williston’s ambulances blew the whistle on the fraud.

Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. In this case, she will be awarded $160,000.

Justice Department investigators say the Williston Rescue Squad has agreed to the fine.

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