Local News


YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Broken wheelchair leaves man bedridden

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 21:45:42-04
A valley man has been stuck in bed since his power wheelchair broke down late last week.
"Don't ever get in my situation, it's bad business," James Zellis told a 13 Action News crew.
Since Zellis says his power chair broke last Thursday, his whole life has been confined to his small bed. The stroke survivor cannot get around without the chair he said he got from Medicaid.
Zellis says he has called them but no one will help him fix it. Now he says he may have to miss some doctors appointments this week if he cannot get the chair fixed.
Armando Esqueda works at Better Life Mobility Center. He has been fixing power chairs for about 12 years.
"When you use it outdoors, when you use it on the streets, the wear and tear is more severe than when you use it at home," Esqueda says.
Zellis says he got his chair last summer and it was already used when he got it.
"Normally the insurance determines that five years of age on a chair is a good turning point, where you have to check the chair throughout and see if the chair is in bad condition that maybe requires replacement," Esqueda says.
So what do you do if you run into a problem with a product from Medicare or Medicaid? They say to call their support lines as soon as you can.
Here are some useful numbers:
Medicare 24/7 call center: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
Toll-free number for the Nevada State Health Insurance Assistance Program: 1-800-307-4444
Medicaid Recipient Customer Service, Las Vegas District Office: (702) 668-4200