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Rural-Metro Agrees To Settlement Over Alleged False Medicare Bills

The Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office said Rural-Metro Corporation has agreed to pay nearly $3 million dollars in a settlement it reached with the federal government. A statement released by Arizona U.S. Attorney John Leonardo’s office said Rural-Metro was accused of submitting false bills to Medicare between 2007 and 2011. Leonardo’s office said the settlement is intended to resolve civil allegations that various Rural-Metro ambulance companies violated the federal “False Claims Act” by turning in the false claims to Medicare. 

The Delaware-based ambulance company operates in Arizona and about 20 other states. 

“This settlement agreement is a substantial recovery for taxpayers and sends a clear message that the federal government will not stand idly by when its programs lose money due to false claims for payment," Leonardo said in the statement.

Rural-Metro did not admit wrongdoing under the settlement. In a statement, the company said it agreed to pay the government to avoid expensive litigation.

KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Steve Shadley is no stranger to the issues shaping Arizona.