Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

A First-Hand Education

June 13, 2016

FORT COLLINS, CO – Like so many 40-somethings and 50-somethings, I have seen my parents, once so strong and commanding, slowly deteriorate.

My mom died of lung cancer in 2009 at the age of 71. I lived in a different state during her illness, but on visits back to her home state of California, I saw a stunning lack of communication among the various medical specialties. It was absurd, depressing, baffling, and inexcusable.

The one ray of light during the whole debacle was the case manager who worked well with the local HME provider. Other than that, much of the experience was, as I mentioned, inexcusably unorganized.

By 2009, I had already written scores of medical articles for various publications. Up until that time, I had kind of rolled my eyes when medical directors waxed rhapsodically about their meticulous “culture of communication.” It all sounded vaguely touchy-feely, and not like “science.” I understand now that great medicine is useless without that culture.

Fortunately, my dad is still alive, and at the age of 87 his mind is still working. The local HME has been a piece of cake in recent years with canes, a bed, and a lift chair. My dad lives independently in a small “old folks” apartment, and (knock on wood) will continue to do well in the “old town” sector of Fort Collins just a few miles from my house.

We are fortunate to live in a community with a population of more than 150K, and a fair share of HME options. Medicare beneficiaries in the rural communities will not be so fortunate if and when the next round of cuts happen in 2016. Analysis from providers and advocates does not paint a pretty picture.

As director of Media Relations for Medtrade, I know many of the educational advisory board (EAB) members for the Medtrade show, set for Oct 31-Nov 3 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. These EAB members follow the industry closely, as do the presenters who will preside over educational sessions at Medtrade.

Whatever happens with rural cuts, they will be helping providers change with the times. If you’re serious about surviving and thriving in 2016 and beyond, I hope to see you at Medtrade. Getting out of the office is an amazing way to drill down and learn about products, strategies, and solutions that can help you succeed.

Early registration for Medtrade is coming soon, and that means saving money over later/day-of-the-show registration. Keep reading Medtrade Monday and/or follow me on Twitter for the latest Medtrade news and happenings.