HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Friday, February 4, 2005

No More Scooter Store Commericals

Tired of those Scooter Store commercials?  Did you ever wonder when you watched them whether they could possibly really mean that Medicare would cover a scooter for individuals who still seemed perfectly capable of walking on their own?  Well, wonder no more because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced new proposed guidelines for motorized scooters purchases under Medicare.  According to the CMS news release

"Medicare’s proposed coverage criteria would rely on clinical guidance for evaluating whether a beneficiary needs a device to assist with mobility, and if so, what type of device is needed.  This new approach would replace an older, more rigid standard that relied on whether a patient was “nonambulatory” or “bed or chair confined.”  The analysis begins with whether the beneficiary has a mobility limitation that prevents him or her from performing one or more mobility-related activities of daily living in the home.  This evaluation includes consideration of whether or not an assistive device – whether a simple cane or a sophisticated power wheelchair or anything in between ‑ would improve the beneficiary’s ability to function within the home.  The criteria also take into account any conditions, such as visual or mental impairment, that would affect the beneficiary’s ability to use the mobility equipment effectively."

The CMS release states that the new guidelines continue to protect Medicare coverage and payment for power wheelcairs and scooters, while also protecting Medicare and taxpayers from abuse.  Mmmmm - I don't think that we will be seeing quite the same Scooter Store commercials in the future. [bm]

Thanks to Jim Tomaszewski for the link!

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2005/02/no_more_scooter.html

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Comments

Quite the contrary, where did you obtain your
information? I do not see any sources of information that back up your beliefs/assumptions. As you state in your article. "who still SEEMED perfectly capable of walking on their own?" Is the number one common misconception by many whom I would consider to be non disabled persons or ambulatory persons. Many ambulatory persons make this common incorrect judgement when at the local grocery store parking lot or movie theater. Non disabled persons observe a seemingly ambulatory person parking in the handicap parking space having absolutely observable capabilities of getting in or out of their suv or car with no visible struggle
or discomfort. What we don't know is that this individual is probably having what is commonly referred to in the industry as a rare or uncommon good day with their bodies physical capabilities. The next day they may be in such pain or exhaustion that they can hardly get to the bathroom to take a shower or brush their teeth. In my opinion it's not fair for
non disabled persons to judge the seemingly or un seemingly disabled as we do not walk in their shoes or know their medical history. Making judgements based on what we see is a very dangerous activity as it can create wrongful judgement and spread unfounded beliefs. Not a very kind behavior to be on the receiving end of
if you were in the disabled persons position. If you actually toured the Scooter Store's facility and spoke with some it's staff and CEOs you would find ample documentation from the physician and the company that backs up the clients claim for a DME or POV. TSSI, The Scooter Store Incorporated is The largest provider of DME/POV equipment in the US. They did not get into that position over night as they are around 15 years old. The Scooter Store obviously follows CMS current guidelines or it would not be so successful.
I assume that they will continue to follow CMS
guidelines in the future. I would agree on
your assumption that you don't think that we will be seeing quite the same Scooter Store commercials in the future. The Scooter Store is a leader in marketing/ advertising Genius. They have advertising billboards on their delivery vans in the form of what called a wrap. They have
employees that constantly spread the good news of
freedom and independence through wearing t-shirts and handing out referral cards, they advertise on television and Internet and most of all is the customers testimony to the service and professionalism of its employees and product. Word of mouth is probably their most valuable form or advertisement. TSSI has made it through very rough times that many DME companies are experiencing due to fraudulent claims by unworthy
fly by night DME companies that are ruining it for the righteous companies like TSSI. Persons such as yourself who write articles with little or no consideration for the whole truth are tarnishing a great service that CMS provides the the well deserving citizens who paid into Medicare during their working life and now need this benefit that they paid into to maintain a free, safe and more productive life. I hope you reevaluate your opinions and research the facts before posting such offensive information. Just wait for the time you or someone you know or loves needs a POV or DME. I doubt you will be so
skeptical in the end.

Bryan

Posted by: Bryan | Feb 12, 2005 11:04:31 AM

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