Open for business: A mailbox near you


Another day, another Medicare fraud story, this one from Ohio. While it involves fraud affecting physicians, it is, as always, the medical supply fraud that caught my eye. Apparently, Medicare issued licenses to some mailboxes at UPS stores.

Which begs the (tongue-in-cheek) question: Do said mailboxes meet the quality standards regulating a provider's physical space?

Let's take a look, shall we?

The site must measure at least 200 feet square. That's a pretty small actual DME store, but it'd be a damn large mailbox now, wouldn't it?

Be in a public, accessible location and not in a gated community or other restricted area. I am on the fence with this one, not having recently traipsed into a UPS store for either HME or packages. I suppose it's technically a public space but, you know, is just anyone allowed near the boxes? Keyholders only?

Be accessible and staffed during posted hours of operation. Well yes, any good mailbox needs to be accessible and staffed during posted hours. The bigger question for me is, how many staffers can you fit into a mailbox of any size? Do staffers have to take separate shifts?

Maintain a permanent and visible sign in plain view. This one has raised questions in the past. For instance, in plain view of what? The parking lot? Sarah Palin's house? My question: Does the little red flag in the "up" position, featured on so many mailboxes, count as an "open" sign?

Irreverently yours,

Theresa Flaherty