Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CMS Steamrolled by Scooters Gone Wild

A little home town news, by way of the San Antonio Express News:

The Scooter Store received as much as $87.7 million in Medicare overpayments from 2009 to 2011, an independent auditor found, but the New Braunfels company only has to repay $19.5 million.

Two U.S. senators last month sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, asking why it agreed to accept an amount “significantly less” than what it overpaid the seller of power wheelchairs and scooters.
CMS hasn't yet answered the letter and it didn't specifically address the question in an email to the Express-News.
The Scooter Store disputed the auditor's findings, according to the senators' letter. The company didn't directly address questions regarding the repayment agreement, though it said in an email the $19.5 million is less than 4 percent of what it received from CMS from May 2009 to May 2011.
What is troubling about these revelations is that the Scooter Store was under a Corporate Integrity Agreement with HHS-OIG, see below.


Doug Harrison started The Scooter Store in New Braunfels. Photo: Robert McLeroy, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWSPictured to the right is Doug Harrison, perhaps enjoying the fruits of his labor and your tax dollars.  

Mr. Harrison is the founder of the Scooter Store and also a party to the Corporate Integrity Agreement above.   One last tidbit from the Express News: 

"CBS News, meanwhile, reported this week that four former Scooter Store employees said the company's strategy was to “bulldoze” doctors into writing prescriptions so patients would get the power wheelchairs. The company didn't address the claim in its email to the Express-News."

Click here for a link to that CBS News story. 

And here is the video:


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