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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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AMR settles billing lawsuit

American Medical Response, Spokane’s ambulance service provider, agreed to pay back just under $1 million, plus interest, received as a result of overbilling more than 12,000 Spokane residents over six years. “We are pleased with the result for the citizens,” said attorney John Giesa, who represented clients in a class-action lawsuit initially brought by Lori Davis-Bailey, Lorraine and Doug Bacon and Tony Bamonte.

AMR agrees to settlement in overbilling case

American Medical Response, Spokane’s ambulance service provider, agreed to pay back just under $1 million, plus interest, received as a result of overbilling more than 12,000 Spokane residents over six years.

Physicians Clinic, federal government settle

A group of Spokane doctors has agreed to pay $656,000 to the federal government to settle an investigation into Medicare overbilling. No charges were filed against doctors or the Physicians Clinic of Spokane in the 2 1/2-year investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington.

Audit: Planned Parenthood overbilled Medicaid

Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest required unnecessary office visits by its poorest patients, a practice that led to excessive payments from the taxpayer-financed Medicaid program, according to a recent audit. The audit also uncovered troubling billing procedures and problems with unauthorized staff prescribing and dispensing birth control pills, said Doug Porter, Washington’s Medicaid director. Medicaid covers the medical bills of poor people throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

Ambulance overbilling trial postponed over documents

Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque expressed frustration Monday that attorneys on both sides of an ambulance company overbilling lawsuit haven't reached agreement on the production of documents and patients' names before a trial can occur. The jury trial in the 2-year-old class action lawsuit against American Medical Response had been scheduled to begin this week, but it now likely won't occur until sometime next fall.

AMR billing lawsuit is going to mediation

A class-action lawsuit brought against a company with a monopoly contract for ambulance service in the city of Spokane is headed to mediation. Attorney D. Roger Reed, representing as many as 30,000 Spokane residents who may have been overbilled by American Medical Response since 1998, confirmed Wednesday he and an attorney for AMR will sit down Friday with mediator Gary Bloom.

Ambulance firm ordered to turn over records

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque on Thursday ordered American Medical Response to turn over certain patient billing records to a team of private attorneys bringing a class-action lawsuit for overbilling against the ambulance company. Since 1998, AMR has had an exclusive contract to provide ambulance service within the city of Spokane where as many as 35,000 to 40,000 patients may have been overbilled, attorney Roger Reed told the court.

Lawyers seek ambulance firm records

As many as 30,000 people living inside the city limits of Spokane may have been overbilled by a private company that's had a monopoly on ambulance services since 1998, according to documents presented at a hearing Friday before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque. Spokane attorney D. Roger Reed, who is representing the ambulance patients in a class action lawsuit against American Medical Response, asked the judge to amend the suit to designate four types of plaintiffs.

Spokane’s contract with AMR may violate law

The city of Spokane may be violating a federal "anti-kickback" law by taking $300,000 a year from a company that has a contract for exclusive ambulance service, some legal experts say. American Medical Response pays the city $25,000 a month, which goes to the Fire Department under "management services" requirements of the city's contract.

Judge allows delay in ambulance bill trial

Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque on Friday granted a trial delay in a class action lawsuit alleging overbilling practices in the city of Spokane by American Medical Response. The delay was sought by a private attorney representing plaintiffs in the case.

Lawyer says city withholding records

The city of Spokane has provided "incomplete and inconsistent" records about patients treated by Fire Department paramedics, newly filed legal documents say. Because he doesn't have all of the city's records, private attorney D. Roger Reed says he's having trouble identifying as many as 30,000 Spokane residents who could become plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging ambulance company American Medical Response has overcharged patients.

State auditor critical of city practices

Spokane may have overcharged the public for police accident reports, overpaid for the $2 million gondola renovation and failed to adequately monitor an ambulance contract that led to overbilling. Those were among the draft findings of the state auditor's office, which reviewed the city of Spokane's books for budget year 2005. The report was made public this week.

City to face decision on countywide ambulance pact

The city of Spokane, now in the middle of a legal battle over excessive ambulance rates, will have to decide in the next few weeks whether to cancel its current contract with American Medical Response. Mayor Dennis Hession and likely the City Council must decide if the city should join the cities of Spokane Valley, Airway Heights, Cheney, Medical Lake and seven outlying fire districts in seeking a new master contract governing rates and response times for the majority of Spokane County.

Deal may lower ambulance rates

An ambulance ride in Spokane County could get cheaper in the next year. Fire departments that cover most of Spokane County have been working together in recent months to create an agreement that would allow for a single ambulance contract to cover several fire districts.

AMR loses ruling

City of Spokane residents who have used American Medical Response ambulances since 1998 have the right to pursue "exemplary damages" under the state's Consumer Protection Act, a judge ruled Friday. Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque denied two motions brought by AMR attorney Paul J. Dayton, of Seattle, that would have essentially killed the lawsuit filed late last year.

$80,000 AMR fine proposed

Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession proposed Monday fining American Medical Response $80,172 for overbilling patients, just hours after the firefighters union said such a "five-figure fine" would be insignificant. "The fine represents 25 percent of the total overcharge of customers," Hession said in a statement late Monday.

Mayor to decide AMR fine by next week

As many as 30,000 residents of the city of Spokane who have used the emergency ambulance services of American Medical Response since October 1998 now could be part of a just-expanded class-certified lawsuit. The suit, filed last December by three Spokane residents, alleges AMR has overcharged patients and violated the state's Consumer Protection Act over the past eight years.

Judge won’t set aside AMR suit

A Superior Court judge has denied a Spokane ambulance company's request to set aside a lawsuit against it that claims the company overbilled customers. American Medical Response Northwest Inc., which holds the exclusive contract to provide emergency medical service in Spokane, had sought arbitration rather than allowing a jury to decide whether it violated the state's Consumer Protection Act.

Arbitration sought in ambulance overbilling

A Superior Court judge is considering whether to send a lawsuit about ambulance overbilling in Spokane to arbitration instead of letting a jury decide if American Medical Response violated the state's Consumer Protection Act. The ambulance company, which holds the exclusive contract to provide emergency medical service within the city of Spokane, filed a motion asking Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque to send the suit to arbitration before a private judge.

Ambulance agent still target of suit

A Superior Court judge refused on Friday to dismiss the Spokane operations manager for a large ambulance company as a defendant in a consumer protection act lawsuit that alleges a pattern of overbilling patients. Attorneys for American Medical Response (AMR) sought to have Jerry Lueck, the director of the ambulance company's operations in Spokane, dismissed from the suit filed in December by Lori E. Davis-Bacon and Lorraine and Doug Bacon, all of Spokane.