« Back to

Philadephia and Houston Area Moratoria Extended

July 31, 2014
FROM:      Page, Wolfberg & Wirth, LLC
RE:           Philadephia and Houston Area Moratoria Extended

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is poised to publish a 6-month extension of the ambulance enrollment moratoria in the Greater Houston and Philadelphia areas. The Houston moratorium has been in effect for a year now, and the Philadelphia moratorium went into effect this past January. Both enrollment freezes will now extend into 2015. Read an advance copy of the notice by clicking here.

These extensions send a clear signal that Federal agencies continue their heightened and targeted fraud and abuse offensive on the ambulance industry. CMS states in this notice that the Office of the Inspector General and Department of Justice agree that:

"[A] significant potential for fraud, waste, and abuse continues to exist in these geographic areas."

CMS pointed to a number of factors, such as the high ratio of ambulance suppliers to Medicare beneficiaries in the Houston and Philadelphia areas as big reasons for issuing these moratoria. According to CMS, these factors still exist and that's why the enrollment freezes are being extended for another 6 months. We could see future extensions of these moratoria or new moratoria in other areas that exhibit key "fraud indicators."

The moratoria only apply to newly enrolling ground ambulance suppliers in these regions. The enrollment freezes don't affect currently enrolled ambulance suppliers, who may make changes regarding practice locations, addresses and ownership.

Guaranteed cash flow during transition.