Medicare Cuts For Mobility Products Raise Concerns With Rep. Boswell

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The Scooter Store’s New Showroom to Provide Power Wheelchairs, Scooters to Urbandale Area Residents

Speaking at the grand opening of the a new retail showroom for The SCOOTER Store Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) raised questions about new Medicare policies that would slash reimbursements for power wheelchairs by 21% to 41% and restrict access to mobility equipment for Medicare beneficiaries.

Everyone wants to be independent, stated Rep. Boswell. “People need access to this equipment,” he added. “There are proposals to cut reimbursement rates, which is not good for the manufacturers, suppliers and most importantly, the people who need power mobility. I will continue to work with Medicare to make sure that people are able to receive scooters that best fit their needs."

Rep. Boswell was responding to a new pricing schedule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week that makes significant cuts in the amounts that suppliers will receive from Medicare for providing power wheelchairs and scooters to beneficiaries with physical impairments. The pricing cuts will force some suppliers out of business and deter others from selling power mobility equipment, circumstances that will make it harder for beneficiaries to obtain mobility equipment.

Rep. Boswell cited the role that The SCOOTER Store, which is the largest supplier of power mobility equipment in the country, plays in providing mobility equipment to thousands of people living with disabilities. “The SCOOTER Store does a great job of giving people independence and mobility,” he said, joining Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg at the ceremony for the showroom.

Local health and business leaders also participated in the celebration at the store, which is located at 2749 86th St. The day-long celebration included a ribbon cutting, as well as free blood pressure checks and door prizes provided by Dr. Scott Richmond of Elite Spinal Rehab. The expanded showroom will allow The SCOOTER Store to build on its tradition of improving the quality of life for people living with physical impairments.

“The SCOOTER Store is dedicated to providing people with the ability to retain their independence and perform daily living activities such as eating, grooming and going to the bathroom in their own homes,” said Mary Sims, the store's manager. “Our new and expanded location now allows us to provide even more families, caregivers and physicians with information on how to operate our products and to find out first-hand what options are available to help their loved ones and patients maintain their freedom.”

Since the opening of its first Urbandale location in November 2002, The SCOOTER Store has helped more than 3,500 Iowans regain their independence by providing power wheelchairs, scooters, and other healthcare and therapeutic products, such as lift chairs, bath and safety items, and rollators. The SCOOTER Store moved to the new location to improve its service to the community. Store officials will assist customers with insurance paperwork, while also providing in-home service for power wheelchairs and scooters.

“As a part of our company’s nationwide network, we are proud to provide mobility equipment and service from our new retail location in Urbandale, and across the country,” said Doug Harrison, founder and CEO of The SCOOTER Store. “Our retail stores allow customers to test our various models, talk to our highly-trained staff and experience how our healthcare solutions can improve their quality of life. We’re here to help people regain their freedom, independence and personal dignity by giving them more mobility.”

Mr. Harrison noted that by setting and maintaining the highest standards in the industry for more than 15 years, The SCOOTER Store has earned a reputation for honesty and integrity. In February 2004, the company was accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Healthcare, Inc.

“We work closely with our customers, their physicians, Medicare and other insurance providers to provide the best service and most stringent level of accountability possible,” Mr. Harrison said. “We look forward to continuing that high level of service in the Des Moines area. We are proud members of this community.”

About The SCOOTER Store

Since 1991, The SCOOTER Store has helped provide freedom and independence to more than 250,000 people with limited mobility. The company has worked with more than 100,000 physicians and provided expertise and quality service to their patients. Urbandale retail store hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday by appointment. For additional information, visit The SCOOTER Store website at http://www.thescooterstore.com.

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