FBI raids Pacific Pulmonary

Friday, March 2, 2012

NOVATO, Calif. - FBI agents raided several California offices of Pacific Pulmonary Services on Feb. 28 and so far, the bureau and the company aren't saying much about why.

"Pacific Pulmonary Services is cooperating fully with government agencies after being served a document request yesterday," the company stated in release to HME News. "We are not aware of the government's specific concerns."

Local media outlets reported that FBI agents raided at least three offices in Bakersfield, and one in Ridgecrest.

Gina Swankie, a public affairs specialist with the FBI's Sacramento office, confirmed that "warrant activity took place," but she couldn't comment further.

Document seizures typically happen when, during the course of an investigation, the government becomes concerned that files or documents could get lost, destroyed or altered, says a source familiar with these types of actions. Investigations can be triggered for many reasons, including from a tip from a competitor or a current or former employee, says the source.

"It's an extreme measure and it doesn't happen very often," said the source.

There was no lack of speculation about Pacific Pulmonary's situation in the provider community last week. One provider says the company may have known the raid was coming. Another called the company's sales tactics "aggressive."

Regardless of the outcome of the raid, the media attention it has received is the last thing the HME industry needs, providers say.

"It's a concern to us because we think it gives the industry, as a whole, a black eye," said Matt Lawrence, vice president of sales and operations at SuperCare in City of Industry, Calif.

Pacific Pulmonary was founded as Med-Mart in 1978. It was acquired in 1993 by Braden Partners and in 1996 it was renamed Pacific Pulmonary Services when it refocused on respiratory services.

In 2008, Tokyo-based respiratory giant Teijin acquired Pacific Pulmonary Services. The provider currently serves 150,000 patients in 20 states, according to its statement.



Pacific Pulmonary is a sales organization/ Medicare mill and nothing more. Most of their upper management has little experience working within the guidelines of Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance. I would not be surprised by what comes from this FBI raid.

Might be the fact that they were trying to use technology to get their cmns signed. The thing is when you walk in with an ipad and already have the cmn pre populated Medicare doesnt like that!!!

I'm not surprised. My opinion is this company was only concerned about the bottom line, never the employees. I can't tell you how many employees were fired. Many questionable business practices. Left because my ethics were much different!

Pacific Pulmonary is a major threat to insurances. Sales techniques are highly aggressive! Ethics are not a concern for the company because they only care about the bottom line. TRUST me, this place is wasting our tax dollars and places like this squeeze every penny out of Medicare and insurances. My source? I worked there.

PPS proved to be an UNPLEASANT work environment due to the Culture supported throughout the management ranks. I worked in sales there and I witnessed how little knowledge key management figures and salespeole knew about how medicare works to ensure that they are holding true to the ethical standards listed in their creed. There are some very unscrupulous individuals within the sales force/ management team there. My suggestion if you are looking for a great place to work is to look elsewhere. Also, the claims concerning bouts with overtime not being paid were true and uncessessary practices.

that company is a joke and they brush everything under the rug. Don't go to HR as they are worhtless and do not follow up on anything regarding complaints.

Pacific Pulmonary Services provided horrible care to our customers. They repeatedly left patients without medical supplies when they were supposed to show up for a 24hr. customer and tried on several occasions charge customers cash for going out to do tank deliveries. I am very dissapointed with their business practices and would never refer customers to them. I see why Medicare was following patient complaints and finally hopefullly something will be done to stop Medicare fraud as these customers worked all their lives and paid into Medicare to have a company like this commit fraud and take advantage of such a program. 

this company needs raid used on them as they are like a bug that keeps coming back to abuse the system.

I am a patient that has been connected to Pacific Pulmonary for years.  They have irregular billing.  It is never the same and often incorrect.  The equipment they provide doesn't work for travel.  I had to take my large home concentrator in order to travel by car for vacation.  I have had several of their travel size POC that just don't work.  The service men say "All the machines are different.  The lights go on differently on each machine.  Don't worry about the warning lights".  They can't answer questions about billing.  It takes months to get answers.  I'm forced to do business with them by Medicare rules.  I was told it's a 6 year contract.  It was just renewed last year because I needed a new travel POC to fly across the USA to attend our son's wedding.  I wish they actually cared about the patient.  I have to deal with them for my POC equipment and my nebulizer & medicine.  I get 2 different bills from 2 different company names.  Some overlap.  Some people may not notice and pay both.