Monday, August 18, 2014

The scooter scam

This might explain why there used to be so many commercials from The Scooter Store promising that if Medicare didn't pay for your scooter, they would.

cato.org The Scooter Scam

5 comments:

newrebeluniv said...

After reading this story I am not informed about why this is a scam. I only see a few bits of information about the general trend of demand and changes to the internal policies of the SS to deny services to some beneficiaries.

The numbers may be going down because of market saturation, or because the SS is denying benefits to legitimate claims.

heresolong said...

The Washington Post story has extensive details. Recruiters who were paid to collect Medicare info from seniors, doctors who were paid to write up prescriptions for chairs, scammers who used the names of doctors who were dead to write fake prescriptions.

newrebeluniv said...

Ok. But only the last case is really a scam. The rest is just compensating your sales staff. Everyone does that. It is what makes commerce happen.

If patients who needed scooters, got scooters, and private Enterprise helped patients get the care they needed by filing the right forms with the government for benefits, then it looks to me like the system working the way it was intended.

Unless you think the way it is intended is to promise seniors access to good quality health care and then nickle and dime them and drag them through flaming hoops, hoping a few die along the way, in order to keep the costs manageable.

heresolong said...

I think the point about all of the examples given was that the seniors in question did not actually need scooters. This illustrates the problem with a program run by a bureaucracy. There is no incentive to ensure that there is any accountability or that the program benefits are actually going to the intended recipients. As one of the people paying for the program, I am not interested in paying billions to provide a service to people who are not the intended recipients (setting aside any arguments as to the rational behind a government program to buy seniors scooters in the first place). If the government is going to have a program, however dubious, then they have a responsibility to the taxpayer to audit the program to ensure that our money is being used wisely. Paying $5000 for an $840 chair to people who don't medically qualify through a fraudulent claims service does not meet that level of scrutiny in my opinion.

As far as "hoping a few die along the way" that argument would seem to be a bit of a straw man since that was never addressed or referenced in any way in the original article.

newrebeluniv said...

No one "needs" viagra or sex change operations either.