Scooter company alleges it is "target" of CMS

Share this content:

An attorney for a motorized wheelchair company has sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Administrator Mark B. McClellan, accusing the government of "targeting" the company as a way to reduce the number of Medicare beneficiaries using motorized wheelchairs.

Marc Racicot is the lawyer for The Scooter Store, one of the country's leading suppliers of power mobility equipment, located in New Braunfels, TX. In a May 4 letter to McClellan, he said over the last two months the company has endured a "barrage of punitive actions." A former governor of Montana, Racicot was chairman of President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

Just five days before the letter was sent, the Department of Justice filed a counterclaim in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio against The Scooter Store. It alleged that the company made false statements and claims to Medicare and Medicaid in connection with reimbursement for motorized wheelchairs.

Prosecutors accused the company of telling customers to ask their doctors to authorize more expensive equipment than was medically necessary. A spokesman for CMS called the charges a "serious matter under the False Claims Act."