WASHINGTON (AP) — Wheelchair suppliers are raising concerns about a new government program that requires Medicare contractors to sign off before power wheelchairs can be delivered to elderly and disabled consumers.
But a federal health official told GOP members of a Senate committee Wednesday that changes were needed because nearly 80 percent of the power wheelchair claims submitted to Medicare didn't meet requirements. That error rate represents more than $492 million in improper payments annually.
The new program began on Sept. 1 and requires providers in seven states to get approval 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.