FORT COLLINS, CO – It’s been a little over five years now that I’ve been writing/editing the Medtrade Monday e-newsletter. The mission is to spread industry news, opinions, and even advice (Jeff Baird’s column is a great example).
Not surprisingly, the other part of the mission is to spread the latest Medtrade Spring and Medtrade news. We believe in the show. We believe in the power of in-person meetings to inspire and educate. I want you also to believe it—not just because it’s good for our business, but it’s also good for your business.
Now why am I the editor/media relations director? Good question. I am but a humble writer with a journalism degree from California State University, Northridge. I took my first job writing about the health care industry back in the 20th century, and (strangely enough) discovered that I liked it. I wrote about radiology, podiatry, physical therapy, and home medical equipment (HME). You may remember an old magazine called Home Health Care Dealer/Provider and later HME Today—that was me.
I haven’t been around long enough to truly remember the much-missed “golden commode” era of HME. Instead, the specter of competitive bidding has haunted about a third of all the articles I’ve ever written about the HME industry. Many of the worst fears about CB have indeed come true.
When I ponder all the providers I have spoken with, the reality of about 39% of providers going out of business is sobering. Yes, there were bad apples, but not that many—not even close.
As a journalist, I am curious about a great many things, and it’s true that any subculture yields its own secrets, inner struggles, and challenges. HME is no different, but the whole endeavor takes on a more urgent tone because it deals with sick and disabled people.
When I write, edit, and post the newsletter from my home office in Colorado, I always try to remember the many dedicated HME providers who have made a living in this industry and helped so many patients. I don’t sell home medical equipment, but my fate/our fate is tangled with yours. I am rooting for you, and I want to hear your questions, concerns, and story ideas. Later on this year, I hope to see you in person at Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 23-26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
Greg Thompson is media relations director for Medtrade Spring and Medtrade, and editor of Medtrade Monday. He can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @GregThompson91