Mobility Products pays $2.8 million to settle fraud charges

Sunday, June 4, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mobility Products Unlimited, the second largest provider of power wheelchairs and scooters in the United States, agreed to pay nearly $2.8 million to settle civil fraud charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida announced May 25.

The office alleged that Mobility Products billed for used wheelchairs and scooters as if they were new; billed separately for unbundled wheelchair and scooter accessories, particularly seatbelts and adjustable-height armrests; and provided unlawful inducements to beneficiaries (i.e. supplying a free or drastically price-reduced manual wheelchair with a power wheelchair).

The investigation spanned January 1999 through May 2005.

As part of the agreement, Mobility Products and Owner John Ward also entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement. The agreement requires the company to retain an independent review organization to conduct a comprehensive claims review, including a review of the medical necessity of the equipment it provides.

Because Mobility Products agreed to a corporate integrity agreement, the OIG cannot seek to exclude the provider from the Medicare program.

In a release, Ward stated: "We are pleased to have resolved these complex matters by working closely with the government. Mobility Products Unlimited fully cooperated with the government during the course of their one and a half year inquiry and I believe that it is in the best interest of the company to put these prior period matters behind us."

In addition to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, the investigation involved the civil division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG).