Grand jury charges men with Medicare, Medicaid fraud Indictment alleges trips by ambulance improper

October 30, 1998|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County grand jury indicted two ambulance company owners and their corporations yesterday on charges of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare of at least $11,000 by charging the programs for ambulance trips that were not fTC medically necessary.

Ronald High, 41, of the first block of Horseman Court in Randallstown and Gary Jefferson, 36, of the 7200 block of Chippenham Place in Baltimore were indicted, along with their companies, Care Plus Ambulance Service Inc., Care Plus Care Ambulance Services Inc. and Consistent Care Ambulance Services Inc.

High and Jefferson are charged with defrauding the Medicaid and Medicare programs over a five-year period, beginning in 1993. Neither could be reached for comment yesterday. Their lawyer did not return a reporter's call.

Cathy Schuster Pascale, assistant attorney general in the attorney general's Medicaid fraud unit, said ambulance companies are reimbursed only if people being transported are "stretcher-bound" and cannot medically travel by wheelchair van, taxi, bus or other transportation.

High and Jefferson are accused of improperly billing for trips taken by 13 people. Each man is charged with five counts of Medicaid fraud involving transactions of at least $500, and 10 counts each of felony theft of at least $300.

Medicaid fraud charges could bring five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count. Theft charges could bring 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine for each count. Triple restitution could be ordered.

Pascale said yesterday's indictment against High and Jefferson and their companies resulted from a joint investigation of the attorney general's office and the federal inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. The investigation began with an anonymous tip.

Pub Date: 10/30/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.