Editorial: Scooter Wars and Medicare Fraud
This opinion piece brings up the ads seen frequently on tv that promise a substantial medicare payment towards mobility aids such as power wheelchairs and scooters. What is not often addressed is whether these devices are being paid for by government programs for people who don’t require them. Another issue raised is that such devices will exacerbate health problems in people who are already overweight or leading sedentary lifestyles.
It is estimated that medicare and medicaid are paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in payments or reimbursements for unnecessary mobility devices. One doctor estimates that only one in ten people who request scooters actually need them. The same doctor also reports coercive measures by scooter salesmen to get doctor approval for the scooters.
The scooter store is under investigation by the FBI, Department of Justice, and fraud units. This is another example of the government using anti-fraud measures as a way of cutting costs instead of just cutting assistance to those who require it.