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A doctor and a merchant were charged today (July 25) with defrauding Medicare by selling power wheelchairs that patients did not need and billing Medicare. Dr. Irving J. Schwartz was arrested in Yuba City and Jose Melendez, owner of a medical equipment store, was arrested in Long Beach. The government charges that they would go to El Centro and sell the power wheelchairs to Medicare patients. Schwartz would get a $300 kickback for writing each phony prescription, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Melendez would sell some of the prescriptions to other co-conspirators. Melendez would bill Medicare up to $5,865 for each power wheelchair.

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Comments

Twister July 27, 2012 @ 11:08 p.m.

Price a piece of medical equipment anywhere. You will find that you can buy it for cash at a fraction of what Medicare is billed. I tried to blow the whistle to the Federal Bureau of Ineptitude on this years ago, and was informed that they had bigger fish to fry, like sick people taking marijuana.

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2012 @ 7:56 a.m.

I have seen segemnts on "60 Minutes" about this and this problem is out of control......

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Don Bauder July 28, 2012 @ 11:02 a.m.

Agreed. Medicare fraud is out of control. There is a larger problem with transfer payments. Welfare bureaucrats have a vested interest in having more people stay on the aid list. So unless they are monitored closely, the welfare bureaucrats will OK payments that should not be made. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 28, 2012 @ 10:58 a.m.

Yes, wheelchairs, in particular, are big sources of Medicare fraud. But as you point out, other kinds of medical equipment are, too. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2012 @ 8:39 p.m.

Don, it is not limited to wheel chairs-it is the entire mismanaged system.. 60 Minutes expose....;

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18560_162-5414390.html

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