New Braunfels, TX — The Scooter Store may have ripped off Medicare — which is you and me, the taxpayer — by over $100 million.
Pursuant to a search warrant, the FBI raided The Scooter Store — whose incessant warm-and-fuzzy commercials you’ve probably seen on TV — on Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud. The company is said to be the largest powered wheelchair player in the industry.
The company’s CEO told employees via email that “we are cooperating fully with the investigation,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. The Express-News also reports that “Employees have been instructed to tell customers that the company is in full compliance with all federal rules and regulations.”
CBS News has reported the allegation that “from 2009 to 2012, government auditors found The Scooter Store overbilled Medicare by as much as $108 million.”
It gets worse. CBS News reports that The Scooter Store allegedly had an agenda far beyond assisting the elderly and others with mobility:
“Late last year, former employees told CBS News the company’s main goal is not to help patients — it’s to bulldoze doctors into writing prescriptions to boost profits.”
Doctors allegedly completed the necessary paperwork even for those with no real need for a wheelchair, but the government was asleep at the switch:
“The issue is that once a doctor has written a prescription, Medicare rarely verifies whether the chairs are actually necessary.”
The Express-News added that about the company let go 150 workers this month after Medicare reimbursements for powered wheelchairs dropped by about 36 percent.