Moving the HME Industry Forward

Manufacturer/Provider

I Am the HME Industry – Joel Marx

August 5, 2013

CLEVELAND – During his stint as chairman of the American Association for Homecare, Joel Marx
displayed a determination to engage more providers in the political
process. That passion began developing back in the early 1970s when Marx
joined the family business (which his parents started in 1950) after
college.

Becoming involved in trade associations and state
associations so early in his career gave Marx a different perspective on
the nature of his nearby rivals. “I don’t view the guy down the street
as my competitor,” says Marx, who now serves as chairman of the
Cleveland-based Medical Service Co. “I view my competition as the
officials in Washington who try to pay you less for doing more.”

When
faced with challenges from Capitol Hill, Marx rarely yields, instead
opting to find a way to continue serving patients. “We began expanding
out of the Cleveland market so the impact of round one of competitive
bidding would be less,” he explains. “We have continued to expand
outside of round two. Over 50% of our business is not in a competitive
bid market right now. It will get there eventually, but it is not there
today.”

When Marx gave the AAHomecare reins to Robert Steedley,
it marked the end of his chairmanship, but not the end of his political
advocacy. “Those who will survive are involved,” he says unequivocally.
“The involvement is not just to influence legislators and policy. By
being involved, you better understand the direction things are going and
where the industry will be down the road.”

Marx has missed only
two Medtrades since the shows began, and he has already booked his
travel plans for this year’s show in Orlando, Fla, from Oct 7-10.
“Medtrade is an important means to understand the landscape, to network,
and to talk to others who face the same challenges,” he says. “I make a
point of getting it on my calendar a year in advance, and I will
definitely be in Orlando this year.”

When he’s not visiting
Capitol Hill or spending time with the family, he likes to travel with
his wife. Fortunately for the HME veteran, he truly enjoys his work. “I
love what I do, so I do spend time working in my business,” enthuses
Marx. “When you enjoy what you do, you don’t have to work. I feel good
about what we as an organization do for our patients.”