A former ambulance driver was ordered on April 3 to serve two years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars by transporting ineligible patients to medical facilities.
Valeriy Davydchik, 59, of Philadelphia, was one of seven people indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2013, along with Huntingdon Valley-based ambulance company Penn Choice. The charging document alleged that the conspirators submitted more than $3.6 million in bogus ambulance bills to Medicare, which paid about $1.5 million in benefits to the company.
Medicare rules place strict regulations on the type of patients who are eligible for ambulance coverage. However, from September 2009 through January 2013, Penn Choice routinely transported patients for whom ambulance service was not medically necessary. Davydchik joined Penn Choice in 2011 and often drove patients to and from medical appointments in his personal vehicle, authorities said. Further, Davydchik falsified records and delivered kickback payments to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to choose Penn Choice.
All seven defendants pleaded guilty in the fraud case. The others are Anna Mudrova, Yury Gerasyuk, Mikhail Vasserman, Irina Vasserman, Aleksandr Vasserman and Khusen Akhmedov, who all await sentencing by U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez. All were identified as Philadelphia residents. While operating out of a facility on the 3000 block of Franks Road in Huntingdon Valley, as well as a facility in Camp Hill, Pa., Penn Choice was incorporated at a residential address on the 9300 block of Neil Road in Somerton. ••