The Bensalem owners of two ambulance companies have agreed to pay more than $450,000 in a judgment against them for defrauding Medicare and making repeated false statements to state and federal officials about their businesses.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced the agreement Tuesday involving Damon Wade and his former wife, Amy Wade, owners of Unicare Ambulance LLC and PA Paramedics, also known as EasternCare Ambulance, based in Bensalem. The couple agreed to pay $459,097 as part of the settlement and will not participate in federal health care programs for no less than five years.
According to the allegations in the complaint filed in Philadelphia's U.S. District Court, the couple made repeated false statements, from September 2015 through August 2016, in order to avoid payments to the Medicare program and to hide that Damon Wade's state paramedic license had previously been suspended because he had admitted to forging a doctor's signature.
When the Pennsylvania Department of Health learned the truth, it immediately revoked Unicare's ambulance license. But the company owners continued to provide and bill Medicare for ambulance services, continued to make false statements about its ownership to state and federal authorities, and kept its fraudulently obtained reimbursement funds, according to a press release.
Last year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Center for Program Integrity revoked Unicare's Medicare enrollment for three years for abusive and fraudulent conduct, and suspended all pending pre-revocation Medicare payments to Unicare.
"Ownership disclosure and licensing requirements ensure that health care in Pennsylvania is provided by qualified, competent, and trustworthy professionals," McSwain said. "Attempts to undermine or defraud those systems put Pennsylvanians at risk and allow sleazy operators to continue providing services under new corporate identities. This settlement is the latest example of my office's commitment to using all of our enforcement tools to ensure that healthcare providers are legitimate and that any debts that they incur to American taxpayers are paid."