Your personal stories made the difference

Senator Claire McCaskill
2013-04-26 19:36:33
    Dear Unity, This week, your personal stories made the difference when I chaired the first hearing of my new subcommittee, focused on how we can save billions of taxpayer dollars. My new Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight gives me jurisdiction to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government.  And I came prepared to my first hearing, armed with your stories about aggressive marketing by medical equipment companies. I was spurred to begin an investigation into medical equipment sales tactics when I received a letter from a doctor in Chesterfield who told me how medical device companies "badger" her patients and submit prescription requests for equipment her patients did not ask for-all so those companies can bill Medicare for the cost. You can find her letter on my website, HERE. I then reached out to all of you for your personal stories dealing with these companies.  I was amazed by all of the responses I received, particularly from a woman and her mother who told me how they continue to receive calls daily from companies trying to get them to buy products they don't want or need.  It's that kind of aggressive sales tactics that has to stop. Unfortunately, the hearing began with two empty chairs set aside for representatives of medical equipment companies who were invited to testify before the subcommittee, but refused to voluntarily appear. These companies are profitable for only one reason and that is the American taxpayer.  In the coming weeks, we'll continue to look for other ways to get these two companies' representatives to testify, and work to better understand how we can free Medicare patients of tricky or misleading sales pitches. It wasn't just the sales tactics that caught my attention.  I questioned witnesses from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about recent reports finding CMS had failed to recover more than $70 million in overpayments to medical equipment companies.  When they were unable to provide answers to questions about the exact amount that has been lost to fraud, I told them that either their sampling was off, or that their auditors were failing at their task. Both are unacceptable. We need to crack down on abusive marketing tactics by these companies, and we need more safeguards in place, and stronger consequences for companies who engage in illegal or abusive behavior. This fight isn't over, but after this week's hearing I'm ready to put together solutions that will save taxpayer dollars and protect our seniors from buying products they don't want or need. I'll update you as we continue to investigate this problem. And again, thank you. Your stories made all the difference. All the best, P.S. As always, don't forget to connect with me via Email, Facebook, and Twitter.       Regional Offices & Contact Information     Washington, DC Office Hart Senate Office Building, Ste. 506 Washington, D.C. 20510 P: 202-224-6154 F: 202-228-6326 Cape Girardeau 555 Independence St., Room 1600 Cape Girardeau, MO 63703 P: 573-651-0964 F: 573-334-4278 Columbia 915 E. Ash St. Columbia, MO 65201 P: 573-442-7130 F: 573-442-7140         Kansas City 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 101 Kansas City, MO 64111 P: 816-421-1639 F: 816-421-2562 Springfield 324 Park Central West, Ste. 101 Springfield, MO 65806 P: 417-868-8745 F: 417-831-1349 St. Louis 5850 Delmar Blvd, Ste. A St. Louis, MO 63112 P: 314-367-1364 F: 314-361-8649       I'm on Twitter, a networking tool that helps me keep in touch with Missourians -- read more about Twitter here. Keep up to date on how I'm working for you in Washington by following me @mccaskilloffice. Reach me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SenatorMcCaskill. To unsubscribe from Claire's Newsletter, please visit the unsubscribe page here: mccaskill.senate.gov/
Claire McCaskill | Missouri's Senator
   

Dear Unity,

This week, your personal stories made the difference when I chaired the first hearing of my new subcommittee, focused on how we can save billions of taxpayer dollars.

My new Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight gives me jurisdiction to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government.  And I came prepared to my first hearing, armed with your stories about aggressive marketing by medical equipment companies.

I was spurred to begin an investigation into medical equipment sales tactics when I received a letter from a doctor in Chesterfield who told me how medical device companies "badger" her patients and submit prescription requests for equipment her patients did not ask for-all so those companies can bill Medicare for the cost. You can find her letter on my website, HERE.

I then reached out to all of you for your personal stories dealing with these companies.  I was amazed by all of the responses I received, particularly from a woman and her mother who told me how they continue to receive calls daily from companies trying to get them to buy products they don't want or need.  It's that kind of aggressive sales tactics that has to stop.

Unfortunately, the hearing began with two empty chairs set aside for representatives of medical equipment companies who were invited to testify before the subcommittee, but refused to voluntarily appear.

These companies are profitable for only one reason and that is the American taxpayer.  In the coming weeks, we'll continue to look for other ways to get these two companies' representatives to testify, and work to better understand how we can free Medicare patients of tricky or misleading sales pitches.

It wasn't just the sales tactics that caught my attention.  I questioned witnesses from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about recent reports finding CMS had failed to recover more than $70 million in overpayments to medical equipment companies.  When they were unable to provide answers to questions about the exact amount that has been lost to fraud, I told them that either their sampling was off, or that their auditors were failing at their task. Both are unacceptable.

We need to crack down on abusive marketing tactics by these companies, and we need more safeguards in place, and stronger consequences for companies who engage in illegal or abusive behavior.

This fight isn't over, but after this week's hearing I'm ready to put together solutions that will save taxpayer dollars and protect our seniors from buying products they don't want or need.

I'll update you as we continue to investigate this problem. And again, thank you. Your stories made all the difference.

All the best,


P.S. As always, don't forget to connect with me via Email, Facebook, and Twitter.
   
 

Regional Offices & Contact Information

   

Washington, DC Office
Hart Senate Office Building, Ste. 506
Washington, D.C. 20510
P: 202-224-6154
F: 202-228-6326

Cape Girardeau
555 Independence St., Room 1600
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
P: 573-651-0964
F: 573-334-4278

Columbia
915 E. Ash St.
Columbia, MO 65201
P: 573-442-7130
F: 573-442-7140

   
   

Kansas City
4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 101
Kansas City, MO 64111
P: 816-421-1639
F: 816-421-2562

Springfield
324 Park Central West, Ste. 101
Springfield, MO 65806
P: 417-868-8745
F: 417-831-1349

St. Louis
5850 Delmar Blvd, Ste. A
St. Louis, MO 63112
P: 314-367-1364
F: 314-361-8649

   
 

I'm on Twitter,"a networking tool that helps me keep in touch with Missourians -- read"more about Twitter here. Keep up to date on how I'm working for you in Washington by following me @mccaskilloffice.

" Reach me on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/SenatorMcCaskill.

" To unsubscribe from Claire's Newsletter, please visit the unsubscribe page here: