Corporate Compliance

Power wheelchair supplier fires back at federal government

Compliance Monitor, May 11, 2005

Power wheelchair seller Scooter Store, Inc., has enlisted a former President Bush aide to fight what it is calling harassment from the federal government that is intended to discourage the use of Medicare to pay for the devices, the Dallas Morning News reported May 6.

The Scooter Store hired Marc Racicot, chairman of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign and former Republican National Convention chair, to ensure that the company receives appropriate reimbursement and isn't unfairly denied what it is due, according to the Morning News.

Racicot fired one of his most recent shots at CMS Administrator Mark McClellan. In a letter last week to McClellan, Racicot said, "The barrage of punitive actions taken against the Scooter Store over the past two months leads inescapably to one conclusion--the federal government is targeting the Scooter Store as a high-volume supplier of power mobility equipment in order to drive down utilization," the Morning News reported.

Racicot's letter goes on to ask McClellan to end "the senseless litigation" and "clarify the rules and regulations surrounding the power mobility benefit," the Morning News reported.

The Justice Department in late April filed suit against the Scooter Store, alleging that the provider defrauded Medicare by convincing customers and physicians to order more expensive equipment than is necessary. The suit, the Morning News reported, was filed in response to Scooter Store efforts to overturn the government's denial of hundreds of claims.

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