Store to benefit from VP’s experience

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

NEW BRAUFELS, Texas - The Scooter Store has hired industry veteran Tom Hood for its new position of vice president of government relations-regulatory affairs.

In the announcement, The Scooter Store cited Hood’s 15 years experience in various areas of the HME industry as a substantial benefit to the nation’s top power mobility dealer. In the past, Hood has served a director of the National Supplier Clearinghouse and was senior vice president of Jane’s Billing and Consultation.

“[Hood] will be a tremendous asset in our interactions throughout the industry and with regulators in Washington, said Tim Zipp, The Scooter Store’s vice president of government affairs, in a press release.

The position will require Hood to interact with the government and to track new laws and how they will affect the company’s booming business.

Of particular interest are changes expected from CMS concerning the controversial K0011 power wheelchair.

The Scooter Store is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors in K0011 sales, collecting more than $92 million in Medicare reimbursements for the chair in 2001.

“The K0011 is a very important part of health care for those who really need it,” said Hood.

“Without it [the industry] would be in big trouble so I don’t ever see it going away, but what exactly is going to happen is a little murky,” Hood said.

Hood said he hopes to work closely with CMS and those making the decisions to help encourage positive changes for the industry and beneficiaries as a whole.

“Through bonding, communication and establishing an interface where folks know who I am and I know who they are, I hope they realize I’m here trying to be a part of the solution and not a part of their problem,” said Hood.

“I want to build a trust there that lets us do some of the things we have talked about in the industry for a long time - taking care of our own, recognizing what is right and doing that and recognizing what is wrong and stopping that,” he said.