Mo. settles antitrust probe of two ambulance companies

From Modern Physician

Missouri signed its second antitrust settlement with an ambulance company in the past two weeks, recovering $2 million from Medical Transportation Management, St. Louis, for alleged overbilling and $400,000 for costs of the investigation.

MTM also agreed not to collect $17.4 million already billed to the state Medicaid program. The company, which provides services in 12 states, did not admit wrongdoing and said it settled to avoid prolonged litigation.

Attorney General Jay Nixon was investigating whether MTM and a rival company, LogistiCare, College Park, Ga., rigged a state Medicaid contract for nonemergency medical transportation. LogistiCare won the state contract in 2004, but Missouri canceled the agreement only a few months later.

MTM, which had held all the previous state contracts since 1997, was the only bidder for the next contract and subcontracted a portion to LogistiCare. The companies had planned to merge at the time the contract was awarded, but their letter of intent expired without a merger in June.

Both companies are eligible to bid for a new Medicaid contract, which the state expects to award shortly. LogistiCare settled its part of the investigation earlier this month by agreeing to pay $150,000 and drop a suit against the state over the contract cancellation.

LogistiCare President and Chief Executive Officer John Shermyen said the company viewed the settlement as a “vindication” of its conduct because the state said it could bid on the new contract and took no action against the company.

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