Thursday, October 31, 2002

Should Medicare restrict sales of K0011 power wheelchairs to only those companies that maintain their own physical service locations in the markets they serve?

Strongly agree - 84%
Agree - 11%
Disagree - 1%
Strongly Disagree - 4%

"This should not be a question just about K11's. We believe that Medicare should start by requiring suppliers to service ALL items that they sell (vs. rent). There is already a requirement for suppliers to service rented items. We believe it is wrong not to require the same standard for ALL purchased items."

Doug Harrison, president & CEO
The Scooter Store

"Outside (area) providers are only out for the money, not the patient."

Randolph Alvut,
B&R Electric Scooters

By restricting sales to the market with a local physical location, it will eliminate companies who mass mail or solicit by telephone and make huge profits by delivering to clients without ever seeing them. Clients should be evaluated in their home for use of these chairs. As a dealer, we have a large number of people "walking in" for other equipment who say they have a power wheelchair and absolutely do not qualify. This is why Medicare is running rampant doing audits. These companies are doing a disservice to clients and providers.

Terri Rasnick, Sales,
Mobility Medical

To allow companies to sell medical products like this over the Internet, out of the back door of a vehicle, etc. sells the patient short should they require any level of service following the sales. This also promotes companies selling cheap to make the sale and eliminating themselves from the appropriate costs they should incur to support what they sell.

Mike Conforto, president
Stat Medical

It should be mandatory that the company operate a physical address in its service area. In our area, Southern California, there is a lot of fraud and abuse. Patients cannot get hold of reps or companies furnishing the equipment. Many of these patients have no way of tracking down these people. And they are often furnished scooters and billed for electric wheelchairs.

Diana D. Cook, RT director
AV Pulmonary Care

Companies selling K0011's in this manner are interested in only one thing, PROFITS.

Joel Holland, president
Holland Medical Equipment, Inc.

This would greatly decrease inappropriate equipment from
being disbursed. It would also help to ensure proper fitting and maintenance instructions; relieve the burden and lost revenue from providers who end up servicing inappropriate or ill fit equipment. Finally it would free resources to provide more services to those in need.

Darren Hulbert, CRTS
ATG-Designing Mobility

A company should not sell a power chair to a consumer unless the company has service available to the customer in a timely efficient manner. At some point, the power chair will require service and it would be irresponsible of any company to sell this product without consideration of how the patient will be able to get the chair fixed or maintained after the sale.

Garrett Rickard, president
Family Home Medical Equipment

K0011 power wheelchairs require a considerable amount of maintenance, regardless of the make and model. There are too many companies selling this equipment with no ability to service the product sold. No manufacturer maintains an adequate network of service centers to repair and service the equipment nor do they reimburse the distributor for warranty repairs.

Charles W. Peterson, president
Redi-quip Medical Equipment

We get calls every week to repair wheelchairs provided by "out of town companies." When we ask them to call the provider who sold them the chair, they often say they did. The company said they'll get to them as soon as possible, and then the person never hears from them again. There also have been patients who receive oxygen from us and want a powerchair, but do not qualify. Strangely, when our therapist goes to do his follow-up visits these people, they often have powerchairs.

Jay Powers, RTS, ATS;
Home Care Supply

I receive weekly calls from K0011 owners that have purchased from other providers. They have a problem understanding the wheelchair makers do not have the same type of service as auto makers do from dealer to dealer.

Ike Broach, CEO
ASB Medical

Servicing power wheelchairs takes a rehab department
with trained technicians, equipment, and vehicles. If you cannot service what you sell by being in the geographical area you are doing a disservice to the client. More and more companies that remain in rehab service what they sell and are not able to afford to fix power wheelchairs they did not sell.

Steve Slater, GM
Airway Oxygen Inc.