There has been some interesting chatter on the NRRTS listserv today about the OIG report on power wheelchair documentation (If you're not part of the NRRTS listserv you should be; go here to sign up).
One provider outlined his concerns that the report, which states that three out of five claims for standard and complex power wheelchair claims did not meet Medicare documentation requirements during the first half of 2007, will be taken as another sign of fraud in the industry. The problem, he believes, isn't that providers are trying to slip documentation that's rigged passed Medicare, but that they're submitting documentation that has one or a few mistakes (not all Is are dotted and Ts are crossed). He believes it's a "documentation debacle," not a fraud debacle. Does that mean that a high-level quad shouldn't get his complex power wheelchair?
One stakeholder called into question the timing of the report. As you all know, Medicare implemented some drastically different documentation requirements in November 2006 and the OIG reviewed claims in the first half of 2007. Perhaps so many claims didn't meet documentation requirements because providers—and Medicare for that matter—were still working out the kinks?
I'll be making calls for a story on the report tomorrow, so I'll have more to report this week and in next week's HME NewsWire.