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Aug 16, 2013 by |

Senior Citizen Vietnam Veteran Victim of Medicare Fraud

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

A 69 year-old disabled Vietnam was recently a victim of Medicare fraud.  He has lived in the same house with his wife for over forty years, but she recently had a stroke.  He was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and currently has a degenerative disease that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk.  Since he can only walk a few feet at a time, a power wheelchair is a medical necessity.  He never thought that ordering the wheelchair would put him in the middle of Medicare fraud scheme.  San Francisco elder care lawyers say that these types of scams happen on a regular basis.

In February of 2012, the senior citizen victim ordered a motorized wheelchair from Hoveround with the assistance of his doctor.  The chair he ordered was built specifically for his weight and size and even came with a cup holder for beverages. His plans for being able to go outside again depended on getting the wheelchair.  Medicare would cover payment for the wheelchair.

Shortly thereafter, a wheelchair that he did not order arrived at his house from an unknown company.  It was not the right color and it was too small.  A back brace also came with the wheelchair that he did not order.  He attempted to use the power wheelchair but it was not the right fit for him.  He became suspicious that something was amiss.  San Francisco Elder care lawyers warn that receiving medical equipment that you did not order is a sign of Medicare fraud.

A second wheelchair, the Hoveround that he ordered, arrived after he received the first wheelchair.  Hoveround told the senior citizen victim that they could not leave the wheelchair at his house because he already had one.  The senior then called the company that sent him the first wheelchair and told them that he wanted to return the wheelchair and brace that he did not order.  The company refused to take back the equipment, despite the fact that he did not order it.  At that point, he asked his daughter to help him remedy the situation.

The senior victim’s daughter began making phone calls and realized that there was a possible scam in progress.  The company behaved in a hostile manner towards her and claimed that they had worked with her father for the past four years to help him get the chair, thus they would not accept the return.  She knew that her father had only begun to discuss getting the wheelchair about one year earlier so she suspected Medicare fraud.  She contacted Medicare, but they told her that there was nothing they could do until they got a bill from the company because only then would a fraudulent act have been committed.

After her contact with Medicare, she contacted a government organization called Senior Medicare Patrol.  Senior Medicare Patrol is a federally funded anti-fraud program.  They investigated her claims immediately.  Senior Medicare Patrol contacted the bank who was going to issue a check to the company and convinced the bank to hold payment.  They also called the company and told them that the claim was fraudulent and to pick up the wheelchair from the senior citizen victim.  Senior Medicare Patrol helped to resolve the problem and the senior got the wheelchair that he needed.  The company that sent him the wheelchair is currently being investigated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases.  If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at info@evanslaw.com

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