Kentucky ambulance service that pleaded guilty to fraud fined $240,000

A Breathitt County ambulance service has been fined $240,000 in a health care fraud case.

Arrow-Med Ambulance and its owner, Hershel Jay Arrowood, were charged with billing Medicare and Medicaid for taking people to health appointments when their conditions didn’t justify transport by ambulance.

Company employees put false information in reimbursement claims to make it appear that patients qualified to be transported by ambulance.

U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood imposed the fine on the company this week. Hood earlier sentenced Arrowood to 12 months and a day in prison.

Hood placed Arrowood’s wife, Lesa, and Terry Herald, a former manager at the company, on probation after they admitted taking part in the fraud.

The company also agreed to repay a total of $249,539 to Medicare and Medicaid.

Arrowood, 44, reported to prison in late March to begin serving his sentence. He is being held at the federal prison in Manchester.

However, his attorney filed a request last month to set aside Arrowood’s guilty plea and sentence.

The motion argues that a federal investigator gave misleading testimony to the grand jury that charged Arrowood, creating an impression that Arrowood hired a billing consultant as a smokescreen for improper billing, when in fact he was looking for help to bill correctly.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to the motion.

Hood denied a request to vacate Arrowood’s sentence while the motion is pending.