Region C medical director to resign

Sunday, September 28, 2003

September 29, 2003

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Dr. Paul Metzger, who for ten years has led the Region C DMERC as medical director, is resigning Oct. 30.

Word of Metzger’s plans to step down come just weeks after revelations of a huge power wheelchair scandal in Houston and a new CMS campaign, known as Operation Wheeler Dealer, to crack down on fraud and abuse.

Palmetto GBA, which administers the Region C DMERC, said Metzger’s resignation was not related to the eruption of a power wheelchair scandal in Region C.

“Absolutely not,” replied Palmetto spokesperson, Eliane Myers, to a question about a connection between the scandal and the resignation. “Dr. Metzger has simply decided that after ten years as a medical director, it is time for him to move on.”

In response to the power wheelchair scandal, CMS has set up a special task force in its Dallas office to approve all claims for reimbursement coming out of Harris County, Texas, where Region C approved 31,000 claims for power wheelchair reimbursement in 2002. That number represents 20% of all wheelchair claims nationally.

Since news of the scandal hit, some have called for termination of those officials responsible for oversight of Region C.