Action 9: Woman denied new power wheelchair may be fraud victim
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
It seems that identity theft and fraud have hit Medicare, according to an 86-year-old woman named Jessie Coles.
She first discovered something was wrong after being denied by Medicare for a new power wheelchair. According to Medicare records she had already ordered and received a new wheelchair two years ago.
“I never owned a wheelchair in my life. Although I need one now because I’ve had a stroke,” said Coles.
According to the billing statement that Coles received in 2009, a wheelchair was listed that cost more than $6,000. The document did in fact include the last four digits of Coles’ Social Security number and her former doctor’s name.
The request for the new wheelchair was submitted by Angel Star Home Health of Charlotte but the company is no longer in business.
The former owner of Angel Star, Veronica McClendon, told Channel 9 she never received the power chair or payment from Medicare and has paperwork to prove it.
A fax received from Dr. Patrick Evivie showed that he did deny Coles’ request for a new Medicare wheelchair.
"If they had checked they would have found out it wasn’t me," said Coles.
Medicare officials have explained that they will be opening a fraud investigation on Coles’ case.
Counselor Rosa Grave said she will be helping Coles with an appeal that will allow her to receive a new wheelchair.