Scooter Store, cut from Medicare, to shut down

Sept. 14, 2013 at 10:10 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The Scooter Store, familiar to U.S. TV viewers for its ads for motorized scooters, said it will go out of business after being cut off from Medicare contracts.

The company, based in New Braunfels, Texas, made the announcement Friday, one day after it got word from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services it would no longer be permitted to bid on competitive contracts to supply Medicare recipients with power-mobility gear, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The company, which at one time was the largest private employer in New Braunfels with more than 2,400 employees, said it will furlough management and staff as it winds down operations during the next few weeks.

Scooter Store employs about 370 people -- 200 at its headquarters and 170 at distribution centers around the United States -- the newspaper said.

The company has generally relied on Medicare for about 75 percent of its business but has come under the scrutiny of federal investigators looking for Medicare fraud.

After a 2012 audit found the company had received at least $46.8 million -- and perhaps as much as $87.7 million -- in Medicare overpayments, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the company might be excluded from federal health care programs.

The Scooter Store had no comment, the News-Express said.

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