Medicare’s $30M ambulance-ride mystery
Sep 29, 3:46 AM (ET)
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare paid $30 million for ambulance rides for which no record exists that patients got medical care at their destination, the place where they were picked up or other critical information.
The mystery ambulance rides are part of a bigger problem with Medicare payments for transporting patients, according to a federal audit being released Tuesday.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office also found that some urban ambulance services got paid for an average distance of more than 100 miles per ride. That contrasts with a national average of just 10 miles for urban ambulance rides.
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How many times do I have to say: “The Gooferment is immoral, ineffective, and inefficient”?
Simple fix here — copays.
Make it near trivial. Say 1%. Medicare doesn’t pay until the patient pays 1%. So if the bill is $100, then they pay a dollar.
And, most of the seniors I know scrutinize their bills.
End of phantom billing.
You could even cap the copay at $100.
Or include the patient in the audit team and the patient gets half of any mistake. Like treasure hunt.
I know from patients that I advocated for that the bills were always wrong and in one case bordered on fraud.
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