Saturday, January 31, 2004

Seventh person convicted in fraud case

MIAMI - The last of seven people connected to a power wheelchair fraud scandal was found guilty by a Florida court last month. Todd W. Neff, owner of Imagine Consulting Services and K&F Services, was sentenced to 53 months in prison and three years of probation and also was ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution to Medicare. Neff, along with six co-defendants, were indicted last February for conspiring to defraud Medicare in connection with the submission of about $5 million in fraudulent claims. All have been sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the scheme. Neff also was convicted of violating his pre-trial bond conditions by fleeing to Costa Rica shortly after his February indictment.
Maryland lawmakers back stiffer standards

BALTIMORE, Md. - The legislation that Maryland lawmakers planned to introduce last month includes a provision that requires the state’s rehab suppliers to become certified by RESNA as an ATS or ATP. Maryland is one of about 10 states that is actively working on legislation to certify rehab suppliers. Tennessee already has passed such a law, and both Georgia and Alabama have changed Medicaid policy to mandate the higher standards.
Illinois refines credentialing language

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - In Illinois, one of about eight states currently pushing for rehab credentials, the state DME association is planning another meeting to sharpen the legislation’s language before they turn it over to the General Assembly. Fred Greybar, president of the Illinois Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers, worries that the language requiring ATS or ATP credentials could be too restrictive. “We fully support and think there are specialists required in some areas, but when it comes to basics, there’s not the staff to handle the discharges,” he said. “When you’re talking $40 reimbursement per month from Medicare for a standard wheelchair, you don’t need all those credentials.”