Health Care

Medicare Cracks Down on Power-Scooter Payments

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Motor scooter

Seven years ago, Medicare paid a bit more than $100 million for power wheelchairs. Last year, it paid about $1.2 billion. Corbis hide caption

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In recent years, Medicare spending on motorized scooters has skyrocketed, creating a boom for businesses selling the devices. Customers say the chairs help them lead meaningful lives again. But some regulators say many people getting chairs don't qualify for them, and Medicare has promised a crackdown on spending. NPR's Joseph Shapiro reports.

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Report is highly critical of Medicare for failing to give wheelchairs to people who meet Medicare's own rules. It concludes nine out of 10 people who get wheelchairs aren't qualified to have one.

Report says Medicare did not respond to the rising cost of the power wheelchair program.

Information on wheelchairs and other medical devices from a coalition of consumers' groups.



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