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Ambulance service owners charged with health care fraud

A grand jury has indicted two Winamac business owners for health care fraud as part of a nationwide investigation into Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Jacqueline Podell and Michael Wilson, who operate Transport Loving Care or Alliance EMS, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud and one count of Medicaid health care fraud.

According to the indictment, Podell and Wilson billed Medicare or Medicaid for ambulance transportation of dialysis patients to their appointments, even though the patients did not require ambulance transportation because they could walk or their condition did not require ambulance service.

The reimbursement claims falsely represented the physical conditions of the dialysis patients being transported, according to the indictment.

When ambulance staff questioned transporting these patients, they were allegedly told "It doesn't concern you."

Employees alleged the word "walked" was prohibited and shouldn't appear on run sheets for patients being taken to and from dialysis

If the word "walked" was used in a run sheet, it had to be rewritten

Podell and Wilson claimed they were exempted for Medicare's medical necessity requirement because Medicare had a "rural exemption."

The company allegedly submitted more than $100,000 in ambulance transport claims for four different patients between 2010 and July 2014.

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