Florida’s dubious prize as Medicare fraud capital of the nation is forcing frail seniors here to endure extra hassles and delays when seeking scooters, power chairs or motorized wheelchairs.
Once beset with a fraud and inappropriate-use rate estimated at 60 percent, Medicare is taking aggressive steps to rein in the abuses in powered mobility sales.
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Medicare’s wheelchair and scooter benefit
If a patient’s doctor submits a written order stating a medical need for him to use a wheelchair or scooter in his home, Medicare will help cover it, if the patient meets all of the following:
- Health condition that causes difficulty moving around in the home.
- Unable to do activities of daily living (like bathing, dressing, getting in or out of bed or chair, or using the bathroom) even with the help of a cane, crutch or walker.
- Able to safely operate and get on and off the wheelchair or scooter, or have someone always available to help.
- Equipment must be usable within the home (for example, it’s not too big or blocked by things in its path).
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services