Senate Special Aging Committee held a hearing to examine Medicare prior authorization requirements for power mobility devices.
A 2011 Inspector General’s report found that 80 percent of power mobility device claims did not meet Medicare criteria and should not have been paid.
The hearing reviewe a 3-year demonstration project by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which required prior authorization for power mobility devices in the seven states where power mobility devices fraud is most common: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Florida and Texas. These seven states account for 43 percent of the annual Medicare spending on power mobility devices.
In 2010, Medicare spending on power mobility devices accounted totalled $606 million. The cost for the devices ranges from $1,500 for scooters to $3,600 for more complex power wheelchairs over the course of the rental period.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Special Committee on Aging, chaired the hearing.