AAHomecare to testify at PWC fraud hearing Wednesday

Sunday, April 25, 2004

April 26, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Senate Finance Committee has invited AAHomecare to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning that will explore fraud and abuse in the power wheelchair industry. This will be the first Congressional testimony delivered by AAHomecare in several years.
Kay Cox, president of AAHomecare, will deliver a five-minute oral statement and then field questions from the committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
“Our message has been the same message all through the power wheelchair discussion,” said Cox. “AAHomecare endorses zero-tolerance for fraud and abuse in the provision of power wheelchairs.”
In addition to AAHomecare, CMS is also seeking testimony from the OIG, CMS, GAO; a PT/ATP who is a consultant to TRICARE; Henry Claypool, who is leader of a consumer-based coalition advocating for power mobility; and an as yet unnamed witness/defendant who has plead guilty to DME fraud.
The OIG will reveal the contents of two closely held reports about pricing and coverage for power wheelchairs. The reports are not expected to include particularly welcome news to those trying to preserve the current status of the consumer mobility benefit to seniors.
Cox is hopeful that the elevated focus on the power wheelchair issue provided by the Senate’s attention will eventually result in a positive outcome.
“We have to rid our industry of fraud and abuse so the hardworking, honest members and others involved in this area or segment of healthcare will be able to get back to business without this cloud over our heads,” she said.