FBI Raids Headquarters of The Scooter Store as part of $100 Million Medicare Fraud Investigation

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The Scooter Store, the nation’s largest  supplier of mobility vehicles is suspected of de-frauding the U.S. Government of  over $100 million in bogus Medicare and Medicaid claims.

On Wednesday, over 100 federal and state law  enforcement officers raided the New Braunfels, Texas headquarters of the company  as authorities after allegations the firm pressured doctors into prescribing  their scooters for patients who do not need them.

This  follows a damning exposé by CBS This Morning in January which alleged that the  company over-billed Medicare by over $100 million between 2009-2012.

Dozens of law enforcement officers have raided the Texas headquarters a power wheelchair and scooter company as part of an investigation into alleged fraud.

The CBS investigation found that The Scooter  Store would harass physicians with constant phone calls and surgery visits in  order to wear them down to prescribe the vehicles.

They discovered the firm has a specialized  department which devotes its energies to getting the vehicles for patients who  had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare.

Timothy Menke with the Office of the  Inspector General says the investigation involves his agency, plus the  Department of Justice, the FBI and the Texas attorney general’s Medicaid fraud  unit. An FBI spokesman declined comment.

The 1,200 employees of the company were  escorted out of the building on Wednesday and were kept outside while  investigators combed the building.

In an email to employees sent Thursday  morning, CEO Martin Marty Landon called Wednesday a ‘confusing and troubling day  for many of us.’

‘I know this is a difficult time but our best  remedy, I believe, is to continue to cooperate fully in this investigation and  to serve our customers with a high level of quality, integrity and service,’  Landon wrote to employees.

Employees were instructed to tell customers  that the company is in full compliance with all federal rules and  regulations.

Last year, it was discovered that The Scooter  Store received anywhere from $46.8 million to $87.7 million in Medicare  over-payments from 2009 to 2011.

The company determined the over-payments were  only $19.5 million. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  agreed to accept that amount in repayment. The Scooter Store was given five  years to pay it back.

In December, two U.S. senators in a letter to  CMS asked why the agency accepted an amount ‘significantly less’ than it was  overpaid.

The Scooter Store earlier this month cut 150  jobs and blamed pending government changes in claims processing and  reimbursement. The company in September laid off about 220 workers, citing a  drop in Medicare reimbursements.

Source: The Daily Mail


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