Senator wants misleading wheelchair and scooter advertisements to stop

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wants regulators to crack down on misleading advertisements for power mobility devices. He issued a statement on Oct. 18 that criticized the often aggressive marketing of power wheelchairs and scooters to seniors. The lawmaker says it ultimately drives up Medicare costs and puts providers in a tough spot. Blumenthal also said the ads lead seniors to believe the devices are medically necessary or reimbursable by Medicare — which they often are not. Seniors see the ads and often pressure providers into prescribing them, Blumenthal noted. “The federal government must redouble its efforts to crack down on the pervasive Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse associated with expensive power mobility devices, but we need to do more to address the root cause of this problem,” Blumenthal said in a statement. He added that he would be sending letters to the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.