Power wheelchair companies committing Medicare Fraud

Responding to the fact that government spending on power wheelchairs has increased 450 percent over the last four years, there is a new crackdown on medical wheelchair companies, some of which bully doctors into signing their approval for the chairs. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spending on wheelchairs is expected to reach $1.2 billion this year. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General released a report finding that industry wide, 80 percent of Medicare payments for power wheelchairs are made in error, with most going to people who don’t need them. From 2009-2012 government auditors found that one company, The SCOOTER Store, overbilled Medicare by as much as $108 million. Reports by media indicate that companies have over-aggressive sales tactics, sometimes sending company representatives along with patients when they see their doctors. This creates undue pressure on the physicians who should be making an objective analysis based on medical needs. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers. jeffrey.newman1@gmail.com