Monday, April 14, 2014

This is Outrageous! One More Reason Why Healthcare Costs So Much

Waste, fraud and inefficiency are three places to look to reduce healthcare costs.

Have you noticed that you are no longer bombarded with TV ads from The Scooter Store and Liberty Medical (Wilford Brimley as its spokesperson).  The reason is they are both out of business.  The government changed the reimbursement rules and in the case of The Scooter Store, no one, including the Founder Doug Harrison, went to prison, even after being raided by the FBI. 

Notice the copy - "Little to NO COST to you"
These companies ran continual TV ads saying if your on Medicare and need this, we'll get it to you for Free.  They'd send it to peoples homes and bill the government.  It was having your own printing press. 

To illustrate my point, below is an ad for a brand new scooter from The Scooter Store that is being sold for $2000 on Craigslist -- never used.  The regular price was $4000 according to the posting on Craigslist.

Mobility scooter - Craigslist
TSS 300 Power Wheel Chair From The Scooter Store (Electric Scooter). This scooter is brand new. Never was used. The TSS300 Power Wheelchair ...

The way this was supposed to work was a doctor wrote a prescription after a through exam of the patient. The Scooter Store delivered the scooter and billed the government who immediately paid the full price. The Scooter Store was found to be strong arming doctors to approve scooters or The Scooter Store would send patients to doctors who were 'easy'.  Further, many scooters were provided at the end of an individuals life, barely used (this one brand new).   

So, our government gave people scooters without ever requiring them to be returned, refurbished and reused.  Millions of scooter and billions of dollars later, we find Medicare virtually bankrupt.  This is just another reason for the fix we are in.

Further Reading