AZ ambulance firm settles with US DOJ

Scottsdale, AZ-based ambulance firm Rural/Metro has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice over a pair of whistleblower suits alleging that it had offered kickbacks in exchange for Medicare and Medicaid business. Rural/Metro has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the 2000 and 2001 suits, which asserted that the company had offered discounts to Texas hospitals in return for contracts to provide services billable to the state and federal entities. (Competitor American Medical Response previously paid $9 million to the DOJ to settle similar allegations.) As part of the settlement, whistleblowers Daniel Block and Adam Wightman will receive $450,000. Rural/Metro serves 365 communities and has more than 8,000 employees. It reported annual revenues of $450.9 million for fiscal 2006.

To get more background on the settlement:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (sub. req.)