Transcript for Using Ambulances as Taxis
And tonight, ABC V ABC news investigation. Ambulances charging a lot of money, taxpayer money, when they are not needed. Would you believe, patients stopping in the ambulance for take out? David Kerley with the story. Reporter: Ambulances can save your life. But these are stealing your tax dollars. Watch this undercover video as passengers, patients climb into the front seat of an ambulance. They are medicare beneficiaries, taken to a doctor's appointment. It should be a $20 cab ride. Instead, crooked ambulance companies pick up patients, charging taxpayers $400 bucks a roundtrip. It sounds like a pretty easy fraud. It is. It is easy fraud. Reporter: We went on patrol with federal agents in Philadelphia suburbs. Here there are more ambulance companies than taxi companies. We have had some bad guys in here. Reporter: The scammers going controlling for customers at medical facilities like sis centers. An ambulance is approved for medical needs. For example a patient who can't walk, climbing into the front seat. Not shocking enough? How about an ambulance stopping so a patient can get take out food. And fraudsters, these are criminals, making a lot of money on the tax payer. Bank robbers go to a bank to steal money because there is money there. Medicare is an over $600 billion program. It's where the money is. Reporter: We went to ask the man in charge of stopping medicare fraud why these ambulances have not been stopped. You take some responsibility for the fact that tax dollars are being stolen? Of course. Reporter: Every year, $350 million in the ambulance program is lost or ripped off. Stolen by somebody, that's a lot of money. We know it's an area of abuse that in some ways outstrips other areas. And we are working as quickly as we can to get it behind us. Reporter: Medicare says it is making progress on these fraudsters. Still, some ambulances are being used as glorified taxis and it's your money. David Kerley, ABC news, Washington.
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