Medicare’s $30M ambulance-ride mystery

(Photo: WKRN)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal report due out Tuesday finds that Medicare has been paying for mystery ambulance rides.

The inspector general’s audit found that Medicare paid $30 million in 2012 for ambulance rides for which no record exists that patients got medical care at their destination, the place where they were picked up or anywhere else.

The Health and Human Services IG says those rides are part of a continuing problem with Medicare payments for medical transportation.

Another red flag: some urban ambulance services got paid for an average distance of more than 100 miles per ride.

Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York and Houston accounted for about half of all questionable rides and payments.

Medicare says it has taken action since the IG privately shared the audit findings last year.

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