The Scooter Store to AAH: It's not you; it's me


The best way to sum up The Scooter Store’s decision to leave AAHomecare may be the familiar break-up phrase, it’s not you; it’s me.

“Our decision wasn’t the result of a falling out or a major issue where there was a difference in opinion,” said Mike Pfister, executive vice president of government relations and external affairs for The Scooter Store. “We have great respect for the job that their entire team is doing.”

The Scooter Store decided not to renew its AAHomecare membership this year, after being part of the association for 10 years.

Pfister said The Scooter Store would take the approximately $100,000 it would have spent on dues and invest it elsewhere.

“When you put those kinds of dollars back into the budget, there’s all sorts of things you can do with it,” he said. “There’s different consulting we can engage in, some public relations campaigns we can participate in, some research studies we can conduct.”

Pfister insists The Scooter Store and AAHomecare’s break-up isn’t “ugly.” The provider may even change its mind and rejoin the association in the future, Pfister said.

“We’ve been invited to participate in regulatory activities and PR activities,” he said. “We just wanted to try something different.”

The Scooter Store isn’t the first large provider to leave AAHomecare’s ranks. In the past several years, Lincare, American HomePatient and Rotech have all left the association.

“It’s ironic that we get saddled with this impression that we’re beholden to larger companies,” said Michael Reinemer, vice president of communications and policy for AAHomecare. “Just a few of the larger companies are members.”

One of those companies: Apria Healthcare.

Reinemer couldn’t say whether The Scooter Store leaving AAHomecare would impact its activities. The association’s “Mobility Matters” newsletter, for example, is financially supported by numerous members.

“We’re continuing with it for the time being,” he said.

Reinemer said AAHomecare realizes it’s becoming harder and harder for providers to dedicate dollars to membership dues.

“We’ve always tried to get as many people under the same tent as possible and when someone pulls up their stakes, it’s always sad,” he said. “We’re hoping people will recognize the value of the association and stick with it.”

Liz Beaulieu