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Tue Sep 18, 2012, 09:05 PM

The Scooter Store announces mass layoffs

Citing reductions in Medicare reimbursements and changes in Medicare policy, the New Braunfels-based Scooter Store announced it would lay off 220 workers.

Spokesman Tim Zipp said virtually all of the layoffs are at the company’s headquarters in New Braunfels, which employeed 1600 people before the cuts.

Zipp said Medicare reimbursements for power mobility devices had dropped by roughly 40 percent over the past several years, and the government also changed its pay schedule, requiring patients to rent the scooters rather than pay for them outright.

Those changes, coupled with a new program that requires prior authorization for patients to get coverage for a scooter forced the company to re-assess its business model, Zipp said.

More at http://www.ksat.com/news/The-Scooter-Store-announces-mass-layoffs/-/478452/16653838/-/gp6wy1/-/index.html

Previous thread from March 22 about the CEO resigning:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10781963

9 replies, 3136 views

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 09:11 PM

1. You mean out and out ripping off Medicare won't work for them...

anymore. I can't tell you haow many of them I see for people that really didn't want or need them.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 05:39 PM

6. Exactly

This is some of the fraud that is getting cut in that $716 Million. They will twist things around to get people approved, even if it means sending them to their own doctor. If they hadn't turned it into a racket they may have had less business, but they wouldn't be laying people off right now either. By being corrupt, they've made it harder for people that legitimately need more mobility.

Here are their models and prices. Notice the WIDE range of prices. My guess is that they figure out how much they can get the person's insurance to pay and then work from there:

http://www.thescooterstore.com/mobility/microsite/09/products.aspx

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 09:26 PM

3. A buddy of mine bought his dad a scooter and one of those fancy lift chairs. He actually

had to spend a chunk of his dad's money to make him eligible to get in the veterans home. Unfortunately his dad didn't last long anyway. He was a veteran of some of the nastiest fighting in the Pacific in WWII. 25th infantry division that relieved the Marines on Guadalcanal. They had the job of clearing the Japanese off the island.

After he died he tried to sell that scooter and couldn't get squat for it. We think it was because so many people were getting them for "free" through Medicare. Anyone that qualified could just get their new one.

He ended up giving it to another guy in the veterans home and created a "hell on wheels"! He changed that guys life. He is actually a pretty well known old school newspaper reporter in my town. Still, he hadn't done well in the home, stayed in his room and was miserable. With his new scooter, he made friends and they have to keep an eye on him to keep him from running off now.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 10:01 PM

4. I've seen many who have them and really need them. It allows the elderly to go

to the story by themselves, to the library, etc. Even ones who no longer have legs because of diabetes are able to get out of the house and visit friends who live nearby. They are sooo necessary for many.

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Response to shraby (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 10:07 PM

5. Very true, but many stores like this have been caught approving them

for people who did not really need them. I remember reading several years ago about, an undercover reporter going to the store and the representative saying something like "Don't worry about it. We always make sure you qualify."

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 02:15 AM

7. A trillion dollars spent in Iraq by the US to make sure that China can drill for oil there,

and there are complaints about a few dollars for scooters for people "that don't need them"?

Had no idea that diagnosing people was so easy and simple. Perhaps doctors should stop going to college and just
ask reporters and complainers how to diagnose.

I'll bet those home deliveries of insulin and catheters also go to people who don't need them. And blood pressure monitors, too.

And those vets getting artificial legs? Whiners! They could just drag themselves by their knuckles. Think of the money we'll save!

Because God knows, crippled and old and disabled people should just kill themselves and save us all a lot of trouble and mostly
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Right?

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Response to mbperrin (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:53 AM

9. There are plenty of other mobility device providers who are staying in business

This will not crimp the market one whit. All this is reflecting is the shuttering of an operation that was poorly run and was based on very lax (previously) standards.

This is akin to a diploma mill "university" shutting down because the student loan approval process "just got too hard," which is Republican speak for "they actually demanded that we give them some evidence."

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 08:56 AM

8. They have gotten away with fraud for years........

The Scooter Store has overbilled Medicare and other insurance companies for many years. They found a way "legally" to bilk millions of dollars......tax dollars.....from the government. They buy the power wheelchairs from US companies but they are manufactured in China. They pay $900 for these and then charge Medicare almost $4000. It is a fact that they have delivered power wheelchairs to customers who have walked out of their homes to greet the delivery "technician". Occasionally a technician will refuse to deliver when this occurs as this is fraud, then the local manager will just reschedule the delivery with a different technician saying that the customer was "just having a good day". It is a fact that they shut service off at the end of the month to concentrate ONLY on deliveries. Once the chair is delivered, the customer becomes secondary as at that point TSS loses money on every service call. They started offering loaners to customers whose chairs required service. Did they do this out of kindness and care for the customer? NO! They found that they could bill Medicare $800 for every loaner they placed. So, knowing this, they pressured each customer to accept a loaner even if the repair only required new batteries. This arrogant company was forced to pay HHS a 4 million dollar settlement due to fraudulent billing. They then claimed this as a victory. Medicare needs to look at every claim submitted by this company, and the PMD demo is a good start. I wonder how the US taxpayer would feel knowing that the profits made by this company paid for a cruise to Mexico in '06 for the entire company at a reported cost of over a million dollars. The Scooter Store needs to be shut down. I applaud the efforts of CMS in their first step in doing this. The self-righteous leadership team who scream "We are Compliant" need to be in prison for their part in defrauding Medicare. They only care about your mobility in the sense that it's another sale and money in the bank.

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