What the World Needs Now...

From Funding Challenges to New Technology, Power Chair Manufacturers Tell What They'd Like to See... & What Gets Them Excited

How's this for an industry icebreaker? Get in touch with a bunch of power wheelchair manufacturers and ask them to fill in the blanks regarding what the industry needs when it comes to funding and ensuring a successful future. Then, ask them how their technology and products are achieving those goals. The results? See for yourself! Be sure to check out the following power chairs on the Mobility Management Web site.

Drive Medical

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is innovation."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to diversify and market to all power users."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should grow."
  4. " In five years, I think the power mobility industry will grow."

— Mike Serhan, executive VP of sales

What Mike is excited about … GEO 4 Wheeled Power Wheelchair.

Graham-Field Health Products, Inc.

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is a decision on the Medicare codes."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to ultimately keep the end-user in mind and ensure that they keep up with the fluctuating Medicare codes."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should be much simpler than it is at present."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will be more stable; the focus will return to the customer, not the price."

— Ray Ganz, VP of sales and marketing

What Ray is excited about … Everest Power Wheelchair with Captain Seat.

Innovation In Motion

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is consistency and common sense from the funding sources."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to be firm and patient while representing the needs of their customers."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should take into consideration the entire genre of the mobility options that are out there for the consumer."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will see the baby boomers coming of age and that population will demand a diverse selection of products."

— Rick Michael, VP

What Rick is excited about … X5 Frontier.

Invacare

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is consistency in regards to funding, technology and documentation requirements at both the federal and state levels. Currently, the rehab providers, manufacturers and consumers are left guessing as to coverage determination and reimbursement levels. Consistency allows providers to plan their business models for long-term survival and to concentrate on providing consumers with the most appropriate products for their mobility needs."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to actively work with industry trade associations to work with the payers to provide adequate funding levels to ensure that no consumer is left without an appropriate product. In addition, providers need to work closely with their primary manufacturer to consolidate and streamline their inventory and aftermarket service requirements to develop a long-range, sustainable business model."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should take into account the tremendous amount of up-front and after-sale service required. Currently, payers pay for product, but not protocol, which for a good provider includes measuring and fitting, a thorough home and lifestyle assessment, delivery and constant readjustment and servicing of the products for people with disabilities."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will have settled into a consistent model that allows providers and manufacturers to do long-range planning instead of daily firefighting. The difficulty will be in surviving through the transition for many providers."

—Mark Sullivan, VP and category manager, rehab division

What Mark is excited about … Pronto M51 Power Wheelchair.

Merits

What they're excited about … P313 and P200.

PaceSaver/Leisure-Lift

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is a new scooter that is more effective in the total vehicle environment."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to differentiate themselves from their competitors by their unique products, their extra services and an intimate knowledge of the new rules."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should shift dramatically to three times as many scooters being reimbursed as power wheelchairs."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will be much more Medicare focused with Medicare validation testing eliminating many non-compliant foreign manufacturer products."

—DuWayne Kramer, president

What DuWayne is excited about … RF-P3.

Permobil

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is clear definition. There is a big difference between simple power mobility and what we refer to as 'rehab.'"
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to "prepare to challenge the changes."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should be consistent with the complexity of the equipment, as well as the diagnosis of the individual."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will be serving a much larger, much more diversified market."

—Tom Rolick, VP of business development

What Tom is excited about … C500 Corpus.

Sunrise Medical

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is innovation."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to provide quality products and reduce operational costs."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should stabilize."
  4. " In five years, I think the power mobility industry will be healthy."

—Paul Banz, senior market development manager

What Paul is excited about … Quickie Rhythm.

TefTec

  1. "What the power industry most needs is better funding options."
  2. "In the evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to be diligent in the reimbursement process."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should involve the client's lifestyle."
  4. "In five years, I think the power mobility industry will consist of a large amount of cheap and inexpensive products to meet the decline in the reimbursement offset by a small percentage of high-quality, high-priced power mobility aids."

—Peggy Townsend, VP of sales and marketing

What Peggy is excited about … OmegaTrac.

Golden Technologies

What they're excited about … Golden Compass.

Access Point Medical

  1. "What the power mobility industry most needs is resolution to the reimbursement coding issues."
  2. "In this evolving reimbursement landscape, power mobility suppliers need to create flexible product platforms that can be readily adapted to meet the requirements of the new coding system and the increasing demands of the consumer."
  3. "Reimbursement for power mobility should be well defined and intuitive for manufacturers, providers, clinicians and patients."
  4. "In five years I think the power mobility industry will be segmented into a market of basic products that have third-party reimbursement and a rapidly growing market for high-end, differentiated products."

— Rick Davis, VP of marketing and product innovation

What Rick is excited about … AXS 8000.

Heartway

What they're excited about … HP3-HD Rumba.

This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Mobility Management.

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