Wednesday, December 31, 2003

DOT: Delta neglects wheelchair users
ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines agreed in November to a $1.35 million penalty for inadequate service to passengers requiring wheelchairs. The airline will pay the Department of Transportation only $100,000 if it reduces complaints from passengers and spends at least $1.25 million to improve the service. The DOT said the civil penalty is the largest so far for violations of the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act. The agency said Delta failed to provide wheelchairs in some cases, was slow to help passengers or left some stranded in wheelchairs or on planes for extended periods. The carrier, which did not admit to the allegations, is spending more than the required $1.25 million, said a company spokesman.
NSM opens branches in three states

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - National Seating & Mobility recently announced the opening of new branch offices in Missouri, Rhode Island and West Virginia. NSM is the nation’s largest provider of specialized rehabilitation technology products and services for severely physically challenged individuals with more than 50 branches nationwide. NSM CEO and Founder Mike Ballard credits the company’s success to its relationships with “top quality, certified professionals.” Chris Bennett will take the lead in Missouri. John Mignacca and John Faiola and Dena Paxton and Cyglenda Abbott will co-manage branches in Rhode Island and West Virginia, respectively.
Georgia DME owner convicted in fraud case
ATLANTA - Heather Beck, 36, Cumming will spend the next four years in federal prison after being convicted of defrauding the state Medicaid program, according to Access North Georgia. Beck also was ordered to pay back more than $1 million in fraudulent claims made through a medical supply company she operated. Beck was the owner of Advanced Rehab from 1993 to 2001. During that time, prosecutors said she filed false claims and then received a double payment for the equipment that Medicaid recipients received. ARI specialized in providing customized wheelchairs and related medical equipment.