Kirsten Gillibrand United States Senator for New York

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Schumer, Gillibrand, King Cut Red Tape for Merrick Medical Supply Store, Helping Local Business Reclaim Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Unprocessed Medicare Claims

February 29, 2012

Merrick, NY – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Peter King, announced today that they were able to secure an estimated $15,000 in Medicare reimbursements for a local Long Island medical supply store in Merrick, after payments were held up by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) due to a simple address change. After working with CMS, Schumer, Gillibrand, and King were able to resolve the administrative glitch, allowing Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care to receive back payments. 

“We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman King for their work in resolving this problem,” said the Levine family. “They were instrumental in lifting our burdens and clearing a significant hurdle. We can now breathe a sigh of relief and focus on providing our patients with the equipment and care they need.”

“Small businesses shouldn’t be burdened with tens of thousands in unnecessary costs because of a bureaucratic blunder,” said Senator Schumer. “I’m glad we were able to help Merrick Surgical Supplies rectify this situation so they can get back to providing top quality medical care to Merrick residents.” 

“We need to ensure that our small businesses thrive and not be held back by red tape,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Small businesses are our number one job creators. There is no reason for the federal government to hold up payments to local small businesses like Merrick Surgical Supplies. It is absolutely imperative that we ensure support for small businesses by having more streamline access to the federal monies they have earned through their hard work.” 

“It is essential that small businesses such as Merrick Surgical Systems are able to expand their services to strengthen the Long Island economy,” said Congressman King. “Removing bureaucratic tape will enable them to do just that.” 

For more than two decades, Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care, a local mom and pop business, has provided a range of medical supplies and equipment to the Long Island community, particularly seniors. Medical and home care supplies include wheelchairs, hospital beds, nebulizer equipment, monitors, walkers, orthopedic braces, and lift chairs. 

In November 2011, owners Leo and Andra Levine moved their expanded medical supply facility down the same street to 139 Merrick Avenue and filed paperwork alerting CMS of the address change. In December 2011, the owners discovered that, after missing payment reimbursement from Medicare,  CMS had failed to process the new information. The failure of CMS to update the business information resulted in a loss of almost $15,000 in Medicare reimbursements. As a result, Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care was unable to afford to dispense needed hospital beds for patients returning home and could not issue surgical items covered under Medicare for patients who did not pay in advance. 

In January 2012, Merrick Surgical Supplies reached out to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman King for help. After the lawmakers intervened and helped expedite their paperwork, Medicare agency recently resolved the problem.