Show them the money


The Scooter Store today joined a growing group of industry stakeholders that are taking the OIG to task for a report claiming the power mobility industry enjoys enormous profits. That's "laughable," says Doug Harrison, CEO and founder. The OIG, he says, overlooks these services associated with doing business with Medicare:

➢    Customer Intake, Education and Interaction
➢    Documentation Collection and Management
➢    Delivery Set Up, Service, Warehousing, and Training
➢    Claims Management, Reimbursement and Collections
➢    Compliance with State and Federal Regulations

But the OIG doesn't really overlook the services and business expenses involved in providing wheelchairs to Medicare beneficiaries. It states suppliers perform an average of five services for standard power wheelchairs and seven services for complex power wheelchairs. What it's really overlooking: Whether the amount Medicare and beneficiaries pay for those services and business expenses—$2,970 for standard and $5,627 for complex—is too much.

That's where, I think, the industry should be focusing its attention, and that's why I wonder how much of an impact this release, and others like them, will have.

Isn't the only way to put an end to claims like these to show them the money—show them how much, on average, a provider spends on customer intake, documentation collection, etc.?

Industry stakholders say they're working on this. But when I asked one provider whether he had a handle on these expenses for his own business, he wasn't that forthcoming.

Yes we do, but each patient is unique," he said. "We can't just put a methodology out there and have it apply to any situation. I don't know that we'll ever be able to do that."

Well, if that's the case, I don't think the industry is ever going to get the OIG et al off of their backs.

Liz Beaulieu