Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a Management Advisory Memorandum to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) identifying concerns with the BOP’s procurement of air ambulance services.
The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identified these concerns through OIG data analytics efforts and recent investigative activity, which revealed that current BOP Comprehensive Medical Services contracts do not specifically address air ambulance services or otherwise address how they should be reimbursed. We found that this has led to inconsistent claims and payments for air ambulance services across BOP institutions, and that the BOP in many cases has reimbursed air ambulance claims at excessive rates as compared to Medicare reimbursement rates. Although BOP officials told us that air ambulance rates are expected to be negotiated by BOP officials, we found that in most cases no such negotiation was taking place.
The DOJ OIG made two recommendations to the BOP to address the concerns we identified. The BOP agreed with both recommendations.