The Scooter Store, the nation’s largestÂ supplier of mobility vehicles is suspected of de-frauding the U.S. Government ofÂ over $100 million in bogus Medicare and Medicaid claims.
On Wednesday, over 100 federal and state lawÂ enforcement officers raided the New Braunfels, Texas headquarters of the companyÂ as authorities after allegations the firm pressured doctors into prescribingÂ their scooters for patients who do not need them.
ThisÂ follows a damning exposÃ© by CBS This Morning in January which alleged that theÂ company over-billed Medicare by over $100 million between 2009-2012.
The CBS investigation found that The ScooterÂ Store would harass physicians with constant phone calls and surgery visits inÂ order to wear them down to prescribe the vehicles.
They discovered the firm has a specializedÂ department which devotes its energies to getting the vehicles for patients whoÂ had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare.
Timothy Menke with the Office of theÂ Inspector General says the investigation involves his agency, plus theÂ Department of Justice, the FBI and the Texas attorney general’s Medicaid fraudÂ unit. An FBI spokesman declined comment.
The 1,200 employees of the company wereÂ escorted out of the building on Wednesday and were kept outside whileÂ investigators combed the building.
In an email to employees sent ThursdayÂ morning, CEO Martin Marty Landon called Wednesday a ‘confusing and troubling dayÂ for many of us.’
‘I know this is a difficult time but our bestÂ remedy, I believe, is to continue to cooperate fully in this investigation andÂ to serve our customers with a high level of quality, integrity and service,’Â Landon wrote to employees.
Employees were instructed to tell customersÂ that the company is in full compliance with all federal rules andÂ regulations.
Last year, it was discovered that The ScooterÂ Store received anywhere from $46.8 million to $87.7 million in MedicareÂ over-payments from 2009 to 2011.
The company determined the over-payments wereÂ only $19.5 million. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)Â agreed to accept that amount in repayment. The Scooter Store was given fiveÂ years to pay it back.
In December, two U.S. senators in a letter toÂ CMS asked why the agency accepted an amount ‘significantly less’ than it wasÂ overpaid.
The Scooter Store earlier this month cut 150Â jobs and blamed pending government changes in claims processing andÂ reimbursement. The company in September laid off about 220 workers, citing aÂ drop in Medicare reimbursements.
Source: The Daily Mail