- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Federal authorities have seized financial records from the headquarters of a D.C. company that provides wheelchairs, canes and hospital beds to city Medicaid patients.

Doors of Hope Medical LLC in Southeast has billed the government for top-of-the-line scooters, such as the “Big Boy” Jazzy 1420 motorized wheelchair, costing more than $13,000 each, according to public records.

But law-enforcement authorities are investigating whether the company actually delivered less-expensive brands to patients.

Investigators searched the company’s offices last week, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

The FBI seized boxes of documents, including billing records, government checks, invoices, and Medicare and Medicaid forms.

In one instance, a patient received a walker, but the FBI is investigating whether the company later billed the government for a Jazzy 1420 using the patient’s Medicaid information, according to the search warrant.

Neither the company nor any of its officials have been charged.

Authorities conducted the search on Dec. 13. The probe is being conducted by investigators from the D.C. Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI.

Medicaid, which provides health insurance for the poor, is funded by the federal government and the states, which also manage their individual programs.

Law-enforcement authorities declined to comment on the investigation.

The FBI affidavit says one Medicaid patient visited Doors of Hope in August 2004 and requested a walker. However, investigators say Doors of Hope billed the government for a motorized wheelchair, for which it was paid $13,500.

The affidavit also says that the patient provided the company with a name and address but never heard about the motorized wheelchair again.

According to public records, the company, with offices in the 1300 block of Southern Avenue in Southeast, received more than $550,000 in Medicaid payments from 2003 to 2005, with more than half of the money for motorized wheelchairs.

Records show that the company is owned by Donna Marie Carney, who did not return phone messages yesterday.

According to city business filings, the company’s 2002 articles of incorporation state that its purpose is to sell medical equipment to nursing facilities, respite care centers and individual patients living at home.

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