ESD 11 questions billing work of ambulance group CEO’s wife, seeks explanation for missing $10 million
HOUSTON – New questions have surfaced about financial relationships between north Harris County ambulance service provider Cypress Creek EMS (CCEMS) and the billing and collections company it uses.
The company, Koronis Revenue Solutions, is owned and operated by the wife of CCEMS’ CEO Wren Nealy. Koronis, and questions about $10 million in missing money, are part of a new legal filing by Harris County’s Emergency Services District No. 11 (ESD 11).
Koronis Revenue Solutions claims to have collected about $52 million on behalf of CCEMS from Medicare, Medicaid and other third-party payers between 2016 and 2020, but only $41 million actually found its way into CCEMS accounts, according to the new filing. In addition, Koronis Revenue Solutions invoiced CCEMS and was paid a percentage of the higher $52 million figure, when it only delivered $41 million to CCEMS.
“Where’s the $10 million? That’s what taxpayers deserve to know,” said Brian Trachtenberg of Greathouse Holloway McFadden Trachtenberg in Houston, who along with firm attorney Anna Phillips represents ESD 11. “If it’s not there, then Koronis – and the CEO’s wife – should not have been paid based on the notion it was. If it is there, why does CCEMS keep coming back to ESD 11 and asking for more money?”
ESD 11 previously contracted with non-profit CCEMS for emergency medical services for approximately 600,000 people in north Harris County. Last year, ESD 11 canceled the contract and is making plans to provide its own ambulance service beginning in September.
The filing also repeats allegations from ESD 11’s original claims, including:
- CCEMS management admitted it was operating a side operation at its maintenance facility, where it serviced cars of CCEMS’ employees and friends, while on the clock and ESD 11’s dime. One of the cars serviced was that of CCEMS CEO Wren Nealy.
- CCEMS overbilled for 9-1-1 Communications Center services. Initial estimates show that CCEMS has overcharged ESD 11 $3.3 million since 2016.
- CCEMS wrongly used taxpayer money to pay administrative and other employees, contrary to agreements that tax funds would pay for EMS and Communications Center staff only.
- CCEMS secured a loan using ambulances owned by ESD 11 as collateral without ESD 11’s knowledge or consent.
The amended filing is the latest in the case, Cypress Creek Emergency Services Association v. Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11, et al., Cause No. 2020-61450, in the 55th Judicial District Court in Harris County, Texas.