Pictures don’t lie, says PFQC

Video begs the question: ‘Why would this person not qualify for a wheelchair?’
Friday, January 31, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa – Competitive bidding will always be a main focus, but People for Quality Care (PFQC) has turned its attention to the equally destructive audits in 2014.

“We’re not leaving competitive bidding behind, but there are other issues that we need to bring awareness to,” said Kelly Turner, director of the PFQC, the advocacy arm of The VGM Group. “We are committed to making sure that beneficiaries understand the position that providers are being put in and what it means for them and getting the right equipment.”

PFQC kicked off its efforts in January by releasing an eight-minute video featuring several patients of Mobility Medical, a Dallas-based provider that is currently appealing denials for up to 80 patients.

Turner says the access issues created by audits should be an easier story to tell than the issues created by competitive bidding.

“We still fight, but competitive bidding is hard to explain,” she said. “With audits, you look at the individual and understand that their situation hasn’t changed. It’s visually impactful. They’re not getting any better. Yet, they’re still being denied.”

One of the patients featured in the video is Phillip. He was denied on a technicality: His physician forgot to include a sentence in her notes indicating that she had referred him to a seating specialist in her clinic.

“Twenty-eight years in a wheelchair and I’ve never had an issue until now,” he says in the video.

Turner hopes the video, which is viewable and shareable on YouTube, will get in the right hands of people in Congress.

“We want them to tell us, ‘Why would this person not qualify for a wheelchair?’” she said.