Scooter Store sees silver lining in 2Q sales

Sunday, July 24, 2005

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- After years of FBI investigations, lawsuits and slumping sales, the Scooter Store found one reason to celebrate in mid-July -- a 19% increase in second quarter business over the first quarter.

That increase translates into more than 11,500 power wheelchair sales during the past three months, and a 50% increase in private pay business over the first quarter, according to the New Braunfels' newspaper, the Herald-Zeitung, on July 15.

Part of the increase can be attributed to renewed business with federal insurance programs that have started paying claims that are the subject of federal lawsuits.

"For months now, we have been having discussions and negotiations with agencies of the federal government that we haven't had in years," Scooter Store President Mike Pfister said in the article.

The Scooter Store did not respond to interview requests by press time.

The company also hired 62 new employees -- many of who will be part of the company's newly expanded outside sales force.

Despite the slowly growing sales figures, the Scooter Store still faces a battle in the courts over its lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services. That suit, filed in January, claims the government illegally withheld reimbursement for 101 power wheelchairs and scooters provided between 2000 and 2003. The government responded by filing a counterclaim in March that questioned the legality of the company's business practices.

Last week, the government asked the court's permission to revise the filing.

"Given the weakness of the original counterclaim, it is no surprise that the government would request the opportunity to amend," said Pfister in a press release. "In the interest of judicial efficiency and in the spirit of cooperation, the Scooter Store consented to the government's request.