CMS Eyes Improper Medicare Payments For Power Wheelchairs

English: This is an image of Donald Berwick, w...

English: This is an image of Donald Berwick, who is the Administrator for the US Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The source website is federally managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Delivery of Care, Health Costs, Marketplace, Medicare

Sep 20, 2012

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services official testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday that 80 percent of this type of fee-for-service Medicare claim should not have been paid.

CQ HealthBeat: CMS: Medicare Improperly Paid Half-Billion Dollars For Power Wheelchairs
“Although CMS recognizes that many improper payments are not the result of willful fraud, this error rate represents over $492 million in estimated improper payments,” said Deborah Taylor, chief financial officer at CMS. Taylor said Medicare spent about $700 million last year for power wheelchairs. Taylor testified at a Senate Aging Committee hearing on Medicare payments for “power mobility devices,” which include both power wheelchairs and power scooters (Reichard, 9/19).

The Associated Press: Wheelchair Suppliers Say Crack Down On Medicare Fraud Goes Too Far; Insurer Applauds Effort
Wheelchair suppliers raised concerns Wednesday about a new government program that requires Medicare contractors to sign off before power wheelchairs can be delivered to elderly and disabled consumers. … The new program began on Sept. 1 and requires providers in seven states to get confirmation from a government contractor that Medicare will pay for the device before they deliver it. Michael Clark, general counsel for the SCOOTER Store, says the pilot project goes too far and every claim his business has submitted under the new program has been denied (Freking, 9/19).

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Dr. Mark B. McClellan

Dr. Mark B. McClellan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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