Senators 'concerned' about overpayments to Scooter Store

Thursday, January 10, 2013

WASHINGTON – A pair of U.S. senators have some hard questions for CMS regarding overpayments to The Scooter Store.

Among them: Does CMS plan to recoup more of what it’s owed by the power wheelchair provider?

“It is unclear why CMS accepted a significantly lower repayment amount than the overpayments initially identified by independent audits under (its corporate integrity agreement),” Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Herb Kohl, D-Wis., stated in the letter.

In April 2011, after an independent audit, The Scooter Store notified CMS of overpayments ranging from about $32 million to $64 million, according to the letter. In November 2011, the company notified CMS of another round of overpayments ranging from about $14 million to $24 million, it stated.

After analyzing the findings of the audits, The Scooter Store determined an overpayment of $19.5 million. But because the company could not pay that amount, it proposed a payment schedule to CMS and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), according to the letter.

“Why did CMS accept the repayment amount of $19.5 million, which is significantly less than overpayments identified?” the letter states. “Was a greater amount or longer-term repayment schedule discussed?”

The senators also want to know, at this point in the repayment schedule, whether The Scooter Store has “fulfilled its obligations and made the repayments in a timely manner” and whether CMS plans to take further actions to “compel The Scooter Store to repay more of the total overpayments beyond the $19.5 million.”

Sens. Blumenthal and Kohl say they would like a response from CMS by Jan. 14.