July 23, 2012

Stop Medicare Waste: "Never Used" Power Wheelchairs for Sale

It is unfortunate to see so many ads for power wheelchairs that are "brand new" or "never used" posted on craigslist.com and similar websites. 

The current Medicare reimbursement structure makes it difficult for consumers to choose mobility equipment that best suits their lifestyle, and many who would prefer a power-operated vehicle (POV)/scooter are left with power wheelchairs as their only choice. It is easier for consumers to receive a power wheelchair for free at a greater cost to Medicare, while mobility POV/scooters which are less expensive are only partially covered.

Many who receive a free power wheelchair from Medicare are then stuck with equipment they cannot use, and are forced to try to sell the power wheelchair and pay out of pocket for mobility equipment that better meets their needs and lifestyle.



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

We regularly get calls from Medicare powerchair owners. Trying to trade or sell unused powerchairs. This does not surprise me in the least. Combined with lack of prompt service and not being consulted about the product they will have delivered PRIOR to delivery . This is all too common. Fact is Medicare has no process of investigating single users. They are looking for the MULTI-Million dollar fraud. These one at a time violations while collectively are worth millions of dollars in fraud mean nothing when viewed one at a time as they flow into the system. Most clients don't have the energy to attempt any meaningful reporting and as I’ve said Medicare is not structured to chase down one violation.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for your comment. It is frustrating how broken the system has become. We had too many people contact us so upset that they are stuck with a product they did not want or need -- a power wheelchair. While some people do truly need and can benefit from a power wheelchair, there is far too much waste and abuse in the system. Here is more information and what we are doing to raise awareness: http://myamigo.com/connect/stop-medicare-waste.html

TMD Mobility said...

While there is no doubt that the system is broken and there are lots of examples of people that either didn't use the chair or only used for a short time, most of the people that get a PMD through insurance use their chairs. Further more, there are lots of people that either don't qualify, can't afford a large deductible, or simply do not have insurance who need an alternative to buying new from a traditional supplier. The "used market" is important because many people need power mobility OUTSIDE their home and "recycling" this equipment provides a service and allows an ever growing demographic to continue their active lifestyles. I find people that need help but can't get a chair through insurance and provide them with an affordable alternative. Most of chairs I get have been used and some require minor repair with very few never having been used. All PMD manufacturers including AMIGO are happy to sell units destined for the private pay market. These chairs also end up in the used inventory and many of these also get used very little if at all.

Amigo Mobility said...

We agree that there are people who benefit greatly from power wheelchairs when they are medically necessary -- thank you for your comment.

Anonymous said...

The power wheel chair I received from the scooter store never worked due to problems with the battery altho with my several complaints I received a new? battery that never worked also. I thought I was the only person with this problem. I discovered that my son in law in another state had the same problem, so now we are two individuals unable to use the chair. It is has never been used. This my opinion, even if I was capable of buying a battery, I would have to have mechanical, and strength ability to replace it.Also I found out that my car is too light to be able to transport it, plus I also would need a ramp. What a waste for medicare, I am so angry I would of been better of with a small portable scooter, So now I sit at home unable to go places unless I have some one push me in a wheelchair.

Amigo Mobility said...

Thank you for your comment -- we are sorry to hear that the system has not provided the best product for your needs. We would love to include your comment in a collection of testimonials from other customers who feel their needs are not being met.

Feel free to email Kate Hofmann at khofmann@myamigo.com for more information on how you can help us fight wasteful Medicare spending.

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