A swarm of 150 federal and state agents executed a search warrant on The Scooter Store headquarters in New Braunfels, Texas, on Feb. 20. The nation’s largest mobility equipment provider is under investigation for overbilling Medicare by millions.
The retailer, known for its commercials promising customers a power chair or scooter at little to no cost, was raided by the HHS Office of the Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General. The raid comes after government auditors found the Scooter Store overbilled Medicare by $108 million from 2009 to 2012.
A CBS News investigation last year discovered the company pressures doctors into writing prescriptions in order to boost profits. Once a doctor submits a prescription, Medicare rarely checks if the mobility equipment is needed. A 2011 HHS Inspector General report found 80 percent of Medicare payments for power chairs don’t meet coverage requirements.
The Scooter Store agreed to pay back $19.5 million last year. Medicare says the repayment is just a starting point. Repeated calls and emails to The Scooter Store’s headquarters were not returned.