Corporate Compliance

Ambulance company settles in "swapping" suit

Compliance Monitor, June 13, 2007

Scottsdale, AZ-based Rural/ Metro Corp. has agreed to pay the federal government more than $2.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act, the East Valley Tribune reports.

Federal officials claim the company provided or offered inducements to Texas hospitals in the form of contracts known as "swapping arrangements."

Such contracts were alleged to have given the hospitals discounts on transports in exchange for the referral of all or some of the ambulance transports of patients being discharged from the hospitals, which were billed to Medicare, according to the Department of Justice.

The settlement resulted from whistleblower lawsuits filed in 2000 and 2001 by Daniel Block and Adam Wightman, previous employees of one of Rural/Metro's competitors, the department said.

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