Moving the HME Industry Forward


A Little Optimism for 2018

Greg Thompson • December 17, 2017

FORT COLLINS, CO – When I chat with young-ish HME providers, I usually ask: What advice would you give to young people pondering the industry as a career? Chances are about even that the answer will be “run screaming” or “this is a great industry with lots of potential upside.”

The 30-somethings don’t remember the salad days. If it’s a family business, tales of the golden commode era may have been told, but dwelling on those easier times is ultimately not productive. They don’t indulge in the what-ifs, because they are focused on the real world.

I spoke with three 30-somethings for the top story in today’s Medtrade Monday. Click Here to check it out. One provider does indeed riff on the “run screaming” theme, and he is not necessarily joking. You’ll see that perspective in Part 2 scheduled for next week.

As a trade publication journalist in the HME world for the past dozen years or so, I glimpsed the salad days when the 40-plus percent of HME providers (now out of business) were still in business and doing well. It’s true that there were bad apples, but the government wrongly determined that the whole barrel was rotten. It wasn’t, not by a long shot.

And yet, with 2018 just a couple of weeks away, I feel optimism. I’m clouded by an inherent bias. My livelihood is inevitably connected to the health of the industry. I understand that, but I’m also a realist. I spoke to a lot of people at the recent Medtrade in Atlanta, and I heard a lot of optimism. They may have been telling me what I wanted to hear, but I don’t think so.

RJ Poonawala out in Houston is not alone. He’s optimistic, young, intelligent, and his demographic is ready to join the established providers who are figuring out the new realities. If you’re looking to jump start your 2018, and want some help in figuring it out, I recommend you consider attending Medtrade Spring 2018, scheduled for March 27-29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. I look forward to seeing you there.

Greg Thompson is editor of Medtrade Monday and director of Media Relations for Medtrade.