Photo courtesy Miracle Mobility
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One of the most recognizable stories of the last couple of decades, if not more, is that of antiquated systems trying to play catch up with advancements in technology. While it’s inevitable that, in some cases, the slowness of designs and all the red tape might actually help protect consumers, there’s plenty of time when the same red tape is keeping them from getting what they need at the price they can afford.
Mobility aids can be a great example. On the one hand, there are newer, advanced models that offer unparalleled convenience. On the other hand, there’s Medicare, which, under its Part B category, provides coverage for wheelchairs — if they’re approved. And that red tape is the reason why many people are deciding to try alternative suppliers for their mobility aids.
“We’re in Costco. The Home Shopping Network that just picked us up, QVC, just asked us to come on board. Walmart.com is also just picking us up. Of course, we’re on Amazon,” says Dan Guthrie of Miracle Mobility. “We’re all e-commerce. Now, we sell to the mom-and-pop distributors brick-and-mortar here and there. And, of course, we have a store here in Clearwater as well.”
Guthrie started Miracle Mobility in 2018 after spending four years in the medical equipment industry. Prior to that, he had decades of experience in consumer goods and sales. Guthrie built the company on industry-leading customer service and consumer-minded policies — but he doesn’t work with Medicare.
When people decide to get their mobility aids through Medicare, there are some hoops they need to jump through. First of all, there needs to be a medical necessity as determined by a doctor, which is reasonable. So, every journey to getting a mobility aid starts with a visit to a doctor, where they’ll evaluate the patient’s mobility needs. Based on that evaluation, the patient receives a prescription. They’re also supposed to provide supporting documentation.
Having a prescription and providing the documentation doesn’t mean that a patient will get a mobility aid. They might be outright denied based on a gap in the documentation or because they are deemed not to need it. It’s also possible that the specific model the patient applied for isn’t available because Medicare covers only purchases from Medicare-approved suppliers. And even then, the more basic models might be the ones that get approved more quickly.
For all of those reasons and many more, people are increasingly looking elsewhere for the mobility solutions they actually need.
“Miracle Mobility specializes in innovative mobility devices, specifically focusing on foldable electric mobility solutions,” explains Guthrie. “Unlike traditional scooters that are heavy, bulky, and inconvenient for indoor use, our foldable product offers the convenience of collapsing to the size of a suitcase in just one second, similar to a baby stroller.”
The variety the company offers means that anyone can find something that fits their needs, from extra light models to those outfitted with extra padding to provide comfort in cases of prolonged use. The manufacturer of these chairs, Guthrie points out, is registered with the FDA, and the company offers both warranty and spare parts. And while business is good, Guthrie only sees it going up.
“The baby boomer generation, with approximately 80 million individuals, is a significant population group,” he says. The oldest baby boomers are reaching 77 years old, and studies indicate that one in three of them will require a mobility aid within the next three years.” Those of them who can’t deal with Medicare for their mobility solutions know where else to look.
Navigating mobility: from Medicare’s maze to Miracle Mobility’s freedom
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