Doctor Pleads Guilty To Fraud Altering Records For Ambulance Transportation

ambulance.jpgA Jacksonville physician, Janet Johnson-Hunter, pleaded guilty to altering medical records to justify ambulance transportation of patients. Rather than have the case presented to a grand jury and require the government obtain an indictment, Dr. Hunter-Johnson waived that right and instead pleaded guilty to an information, available here. Physicians do not receive reimbursement for ambulance transportation, however ambulance companies do and Dr. Hunter allegedly owned a private ambulance company.
According to the plea related documents, the doctor had staff modify patient records to reflect that patients could not walk or use a wheelchair, a precondition for payment for ambulance transportation. The Stark law prohibits a physician from referring patients to pharmacies, diagnostic companies and other ancillary service providers in which the physician has an ownership interest. The law was put into effect to prevent physicians from over-ordering services due to that financial interest.
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