Scooters represent a cornerstone category for many mobility providers, but how those providers approach them has transformed.
That change is rooted in reimbursement cuts and policy changes that have essentially turned the standard power mobility and scooter market on its head.
One big change was the removal of the first month purchase option, which meant that providers had to rent all standard PMDs and scooters for 13 months. The other big change was competitive bidding Round Two, which included scooters in the products that were subject to bid. This not only radically cut reimbursement, but also meant some providers would not be able to serve markets they previously supported.
But that didn’t stop providers from getting creative. While they were faced with rental business models and massive cuts, they began capitalizing on the cash sales market. Many scooter users either don’t have Medicare funding, and there are Medicare beneficiaries that won’t to settle for what CMS will cover and can afford much better options.
The result has been an explosion of scooters that cover the spectrum of provider needs. There are scooters that are models with a focus on durability and serviceability for the rental market, and full-featured offerings that come with all the bells and whistles, which appeal to retail customers. This means mobility providers of all business models have options. Let’s take a look at some of the latest offerings on the market:
Heavy Duty Mobility
- The FR510-F, carries up to 450 pounds and drives as far as 18 miles at maximum weight capacity.
- Complete with a dual electronic braking system and solid tires, the scooter also provides rotating vinyl covered cushioned seat; flip-up armrests; and adjustable tiller.
- Also comes with headlight, taillights, signal lights and a horn, and is available in a stylish burgundy red color.
Easy, Stable Ride
- Eclipse Premier features 350 lb. weight capacity, 5.4 mph (jogging speed) with 20- to 30-mile range, while highlighting stability and safety.
- Designed for long hill climbs and rugged terrain, scooter offers a “Smooth ride” front and rear suspension and 10 in. tires for extra outdoor ground clearance.
- Powered by a four pole motor with 3 brake transaxle drive system, and includes standard controller and no-tool separation.
Distinctive Looks, Comfort
Cobra GT4 Scooter
- Provides comfort with a stable ride and a deluxe captain’s seat available in 20 in. or 22 in. widths.
- Carries up to 450 pounds and drives as far as 35 miles, with a 10 mph top speed.
- One-touch, infinite tiller angle adjustment lets the user position the tiller into the ideal driving position
For Customers That Want to Be Noticed
The Jellybean Collection
- Scooters come in six iridescent colors to choose from: Lemon Zest, Seafoam, Grape, Bubble Gum, Island Blue and Sour Apple.
- 500 Watt Electric Transaxle differential brushless motor is powered by a 48 volt lead acid maintenance free battery and can travel at up to 18 mph.
- Scooters come standard with a scooter cover, carpet floor mat and basket mat.
Maneuverability and Performance
Pursuit Sport 36 Volt
- Four-wheel mobility scooter features 36 volts of power with (3) 12-volt 55 AH batteries.
- Includes full suspension, hydraulic sealed brake system and deluxe reclining highback seat with headrest and sliders.
- Comes standard with a full steering wheel and integrated digital display, making it the ultimate outdoor mobility scooter.
Pride Mobility Products Corp.
Foldable, Lightweight Scooter
- Weighs 54 lbs. with lithium battery, and folds to a size of 23.5 in. high by 17.5 in. wide by 17 in. deep for easy transport in a car, van, plane, train or bus.
- Supports a weight capacity up to 300 lbs. in seconds, and travels between 8 to 13.5 miles per charge depending on the weight of a person and driving surface.
- Features a fully adjustable tiller and a battery backup storage compartment that allows for storage of a second battery.
This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of HME Business.