Monday, June 30, 2003

Cuts unintentionally aimed at custom rehab
HARTFORD, Conn. - NEMED members who believe a proposed $2.5 million Medicaid cut unfairly singles out the state’s rehab providers met with state officials to suggest alternatives. Language in the proposed budget concerned members, as it was worded to impact only custom wheelchair providers. A proposal explaining why this cut would affect only those providers and suggesting other alternative savings was submitted to the state. Officials said it was not their intention to focus the cuts on one segment of the industry and an internal discussion on the issue is needed.
Florida woman charged in $25.7M fraud
TAMPA, Fla. - A Safety Harbor woman was recently sentenced to more than four years in prison for her involvement in a scheme to defraud Medicare in the purchase of motorized wheelchairs that patients didn’t need or never received, according to a recent article in the St. Petersburg Times. Teresa Martinez, 40, was also ordered to pay almost $2.6 million to CMS. Martinez, seven others and six corporations were charged in January of submitting false claims totaling $25.7 million to Medicare and Medicaid. She acted as a sales person for a group of companies known as Gold Star.
Custom Medical findsspace next door
PALMETTO, Fla. - Custom Medical Systems has moved to a 6,000-square-foot facility to make room for more inventory, but the 10-year-old rehab equipment provider didn’t have far to go. “The building next door opened up,” manager Alan Luvesky said. Previously, the six-employee provider worked out of a 1,500-square-foot building, but its inventory, which includes wheelchairs, walkers, standing frames and several equipment parts, started to take up space. “Before we were renting space and storing the equipment in my garage and now we’ve got the room,” Luvesky said. “Frankly, I just got tired of tripping over all the stuff.” The rehab provider does about $300,000 in sales annually.