Source: Medicare admits overpaying for common items like wheelchairs
November 27, 2010|By Sally Kestin, Sun Sentinel
WHAT: Medicare pays $800 to rent a wheelchair that retails for $350
COST: Medicare spent $188 million on manual wheelchairs in 2009; officials can’t say how much of that involved overpayments
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE: Congress
It’s no secret the federal government is not always frugal with our money — remember the military’s $640 toilet seats and $436 hammers? Now comes Medicare paying more than double the retail cost for wheelchairs.
Alan Siegel of Fort Lauderdale discovered the overspending recently when he needed to replace a wheelchair for his wife. He wanted to buy one since she suffers from a form of muscular dystrophy and requires permanent use of a wheelchair.