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D.C. investigates medical suppliers

Managed Care Weekly Advisor, July 18, 2007

Four of the top 10 providers of medical equipment to Medicaid recipients in Washington, D.C., are under investigation. The providers are part of a business that earned $11.4 million by offering power scooters, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and other equipment to patients.

Six other "durable medical equipment" dealers are under investigation, one allegedly for selling a walker to a patient and billing the government for a $13,500 power scooter, the Washington Times reports. These companies were responsible for almost half of the medical equipment costs incurred by Medicaid in the city last year. In another instance, one company received $1.5 million after submitting 11,644 claims; another submitted 426 claims and was paid the same amount.

This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a two-year initiative to search for fraud by medical equipment providers.

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