Scooter Store, Hoveround on renting to Medicare

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Scooter Store and Hoveround are two of the biggest providers of standard power wheelchairs in the country. What will they do if Medicare eliminates the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs on Jan. 1?

'Nice inventory'

"We have a nice starting inventory of units that are return units from the past that will make up our initial rental fleet," said Mike Pfister, executive vice president of government relations and external affairs, The Scooter Store. "Of course, we will continue to buy new units, as our inventory would not last very long."

'It is what it is'

"Our preparation is really working on aligning the stars, if you will, relative to financing," said Tom Kruse, founder and CEO, Hoveround. "It is what it is. It's akin to a physician doing an exam with some lab work and it's a $130 bill and Medicare says I'm going to give you $10 a month. You still have to pay nurses and staff and rent and the electric bill. No matter what, you have to come up with the money or not do business."