Fraud makes a house call

Friday, October 31, 2008

We received a disturbing call recently. The caller identified himself as Matt from Medicare Collections. He asked questions about a specific patient and the power wheelchair we provided to that patient. When my customer service rep handed me the phone, I heard him hang up. I called the patient’s home. She said the man was still at her house. She said he was outside in his van, which had no markings on it at all. I then asked her 43-year-old son what the man did while he was there. The son said he got the serial number off the wheelchair and asked questions about how long she had the chair.
I asked the son if the patient had a wheelchair ramp. She does. I informed him of the fly-by-night companies that drive down the street looking for ramps. If a house has a ramp, they try to provide the owner with an unrequested new wheelchair. I have heard rumors for years of this type of company, but I have never had any direct contact. I would be embarrassed by this type of activity in the industry if I were not so angry.

Joel Holland, president, Holland Medical Equipment, Nashville, Tenn.