PHD responds to medicaid fraud allegations

"SJI EMS disagrees with nearly all of your assertions." That is the response from the attorney representing San Juan Island Public Hospital District in the Civil Investigation by the Attorney General's Office  alleging medicaid fraud. The PHD oversees SJI EMS. 

The AG's Office had told the PHD that the investigation revealed more than 400 improperly filed claims. The state claimed it found problems in four categories: "These categories all stem from the same troubling conduct—SJI EMS never made any independent assessment of whether these fixed-wing transports were appropriate or medically necessary, and instead affirmatively and repeatedly chose the most expensive mode of ambulance travel available. SJI EMS's conduct of routinely billing the State for the highest level of transportation, irrespective of the underlying circumstances, contravened multiple rules and regulations of the State's Medicaid program (e.g. WAC 182-546-4000, 5000 et seq. )."

According to the state, the fine would have been in excess of a million dollars but they would settle the case for $350,000. If the case continued and all of the claims were determined to be fraudulent, with treble damages the fine could be as high as $13.6 million.

According to the letter from PHD Attorney Jim J. Fredman, "SJI EMS lost nearly $3000 per flight. SJI EMS simply had no financial incentive to fly Medicaid patients via air ambulance. SJI EMS was solely driven by the need to ensure that the patients received necessary treatment in a timely manner and that no patient’s condition was put at risk due to a delay in transportation to the appropriate hospital."


PADS for Parkinson’s receives $25,000 in Match Fund Challenge

PADs for Parkinson’s of San Juan Island would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the exciting opportunity to receive up to $25,000 in matching funds. This generous match fund has been presented by an anonymous benefactor and will apply to any donation received this giving season. Your support is needed to help the PADs Program to achieve the full amount of the match.


San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log: Nov. 13-19: Potential financial exploitation, found passport, speeders

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 335 calls from Nov. 13-19, 2019 including: A Lopez Island deputy was contacted by Adult Protective Services regarding a case of possible financial exploitation. A Deputy on San Juan Island responded to a report of a hit and run. Several mailboxes, a power box, two cable boxes and trees were damaged.


PHD Board meets Nov. 20 in Friday Harbor

REGULAR MEETING Agenda San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 Board of Commissioners Meeting will take place at p.m. Wednesday November 20, 2019 at the Frank WIlson Memorial EMS Building, 1079 Spring Street in Friday Harbor. Please note the first hour will be an executive session which is closed to the public.

The open part of the meeting begins at 3 p.m.


Washington state bans vapor products containing vitamin E acetate

OLYMPIA – November 18, the Washington State Board of Health expanded its emergency rule on vapor products to include a new section banning the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate. The Department of Health recommended the update based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings connecting vitamin E acetate and vaping associated lung injury.


Comments due Dec. 2 on the Second Draft of San Juan County Land Capacity Analysis Report

The second draft of San Juan County's Land Capacity Analysis (LCA) Report is available for public review. The Planning Commission was briefed on Friday, November 15, the County Council will be briefed at an upcoming council meeting.

The public comment period on the second draft goes through December 2, 2019. Please submit public comments to with the subject line RE: Second Draft Land Capacity Analysis Report.

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