IG seeks competitive bidding for power-driven wheelchairs

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Power-driven wheelchairs cost Medicare nearly four times what suppliers pay for them, and competitive bidding could dramatically reduce the total, according to an inspector general's report released last week. A standard power wheelchair costs Medicare about $4,018 to lease, compared with $1,048 for suppliers to buy, the Department of Health and Human Services' internal watchdog reported. However, the Power Mobility Coalition countered that the report was based on flawed methodology and incomplete information.