Skip to comments.New Braunfels-based The Scooter Store Lays Off 220 Employees
Posted on 09/19/2012 1:19:19 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
New Braunfels-based The Scooter Store suffered through another round of layoffs yesterday, as company executives eliminated around 220 employees across all areas of the business.
Scooter Store Senior Vice President Tim Zipp says the layoffs are part of a company-wide cost savings plan designed to restructure the company in the wake of continued changes in the Medicare industry. That includes fundamental changes in claims processing procedures and reductions in reimbursement amounts (both of which are key to the Scooter Stores business model).
The Scooter Store has gone through some other changes in recent months, including the exit of founder and CEO Doug Harrison in March, the hiring of Martin Landon as the new CEO in July, and the expansion of the companys national operations in the last couple of years that led to a 500 job increase locally.
Yesterdays layoffs represent about 10% of The Scooter Stores national workforce, leaving them with about 21-hundred employees, about 14-hundred of which are employed here in New Braunfels.
This isnt the first time The Scooter Store has had to deal with layoffs prompted by changes to Medicare. In the early 2000s the company let several hundred workers go because of similar issues after Medicare clamped down on industry-wide fraud concerns.
Even the Scooter Store came under investigation by the FBI over alleged false Medicare claims. In the end, the Scooter Store settled with the federal government, paying 4-million dollars and agreeing to give up about 13-million dollars in Medicare payments. Since then the company has flourished and has been named twice to Forbes Magazines Top 100 Best Places to Work For list.
As for the 220 employees that were let go yesterday, the cuts were felt across the board, from longtime managers to recently hired part-time employees. And although no notice was given of the pending cuts, Zipp says the company made efforts to compensate those they were letting go by offering severance packages and other help.
Its unclear as of yet whether yesterdays layoffs have any effect on the Scooter Stores agreement with the city and its 4B Board, after they gave the company a 3.85-million dollar incentive package in order to keep the Scooter Store in New Braunfels. But that agreement was dependent on the Scooter Store creating 500 new local jobs, a goal they reached within a few short months of striking the agreement with the city.
Well be talking about that part of the story today at 12:30 here on KGNB with Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek on the Inside the Chamber show. Thats at 12:30 this afternoon here on AM 1420 and streaming live online at kgnb.am.
Great company. Watched it grow from a small few employees to a very successful employee friendly corporation. Thanks Obammma
Actually, I’m a senior with bad hip joints and legs that have been broken badly more than once.
I could use a scooter sometimes.
However, nothing pi$$es me off more than to see this company’s advertisements.
“NO cost to me/you...blah blah”.....it is essentially a Medicare ripoff niche company.
If I want a damned scooter, I’ll buy one. I don’t need the taxpayers to buy one for me...I’m glad they’re downsizing. That means fewer people are qualifying for them.
I bet THAT was unexpected....and it's only Wednesday!
The Free Ride is over. I, too, am annoyed at this company’s advertisements, like the ones for incontinence supplies. Must be nice to have someone else pay for your stuff. Meanwhile, other seniors scrape pennies together to buy needed medicines.
Can no longer ride my scooter to Der Schlitterbahn.
Good for you. Pisses me off too everytime I see those commercials. Another gimme that’s helping to drive the Country over the fiscal cliff.
Those ads are pretty clear that taxpayers are picking up the tab for the scooters. They have gotten to me a bit too.
I said long ago while watching a Scooter Store ad that this would soon come to a screeching halt under Obamacare.
In reality a lot of real patients are going to be shafted by the new Obamacare and its. 2.3% tax o health care items.
The Scooter Store may have been living rich off Medicare, but a lot of other business’s are going to feel the pain too, business’s that are not deserving of being screwed.
My wife used to work for another glorified welfare queen, an attorney who specialized in getting disability for people when their unemployment ran out.
The Mobility You Need Could Cost You Little to Nothing
If your limited mobility is the result of a qualifying medical condition and prevents you from accomplishing basic day-to-day tasks independently in your home, Medicare could cover 80% of the cost of your power chair or scooter. And if you have supplemental insurance, it may cover the remaining 20%. That means the mobility you need could cost you little to nothing!
The mobility experts at The SCOOTER Store work with Medicare and private insurance companies every day. Call us today to see whether you may be able to get your power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you.
Working with The SCOOTER Store is easy.
“Free or at little to no cost to you!”
Several decades ago, my cousin was in a very bad car accident. His mother and father weren’t what you’d call monied at all. My mother did something that struck me and I remember to this day. She wrote them a check for $10,000 right after it happened and told them to use it - don’t worry about paying it back. At the time, that was double what I made in a year after just having gotten out of the military. I thought it very, very generous and struggled to understand it.
Fast forward to today several decades later and I make much much more now and I see friends, family and things differently, and I don’t see it as odd at all and would do the same.
Family and friends in need. The first line of fiscal defense should be family, then Church and local organizations.........government last.
I agree with others on this thread. I heard a report talking about scooters yesterday that suggested that only 1 in 10 people who get them actually need the capabilities of the scooter they end up with.
And it is clear that most of these people would never pay what the scooters are sold for. While some of those people are simply too poor to afford it, many COULD afford them — they would make a decision that it wasn’t worth to them what it cost. That is the basis of a free market — people paying for things, and deciding what they cost.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a store like the scooter store could build a business model that would compete in the real world and earn these people’s money. But there is no way to do so, because companies like the scooter store already have the market cornered with their “free to the customer” scooters.
Their entire marketing is to get people to sign up, so they can try to get the government to pay. They even eat the price of scooters when the government doesn’t pay up, knowing they make a big enough profit that it is worth it to them.
Like lawyers trolling for clients, “you pay nothing unless you win”.
They offer a necessary product for a subset of their market, but that market makes it nearly impossible to appropriately price value. Which is the general problem with Medicare. Either the taxpayers are ripped off, or seniors are denied treatment they should get, because a 3rd party is making all the decisions without regard to cost/benefit.
I found mine on Craigs list. I am the third owner. Paid around $700 for the scooter and the ramp.
I also had hip replacement surgery this past March. The first month post-op is challenging but I am now pain free.
I’m glad you’re better....I’m dreading having to have to have the surgery....I’m afraid I won’t recover. My last broken foot took 6 months to fully heal. Bad lower extremity circulation.
Actually, I was too, dude...but as I scanned, the word “Medicare” sprung up, and as they say, “the die was cast.”
LOVE your tagline!
“I agree with others on this thread. I heard a report talking about scooters yesterday that suggested that only 1 in 10 people who get them actually need the capabilities of the scooter they end up with.”
Ditto that. In a previous part time job. one of my clients was an assisted living place. Someone came through and signed up all or most of the residents.
It made for a “Road Warrior” atmosphere complete with wrecks and multiple holes punched in walls.
I guess management clamped down because the damage was fixed and the scooter use dropped back to original levels.
I heard a report today on the radio that as much as 80% of these are not medically necessary and in fact many users would be better off walking. I have no way to verify this information but it would not surprise me.
I bought my scooter from them, great quality and service. I paid for mine, but if someone needs a scooter or chair to get around inside their home they are eligible under medicare. You aren’t eligible if you can get around indoors. A lot of people cheat, as usual.
translation: The Obamacare death panels ain’t gonna let us bill these to Medicare anymore
I don’t have accurate figures, but medicare won’t buy one for you unless you really need it, so they pay rent on one for a couple years. I think it is Medicare’s arrangement. not the Scooter Store. Six months rent will more than buy one.
This is the Medicare guys that advertised FREE SCOOTERS....er... “At little or no cost to you”... let the taxpayers fund it!
I am not that sad.