FARMINGTON, NM – Last year was no picnic for John Eberhart, RRT, RPSGT, owner of Eberhart Home Health, Farmington, New Mexico. The 20-year HME veteran started 2013 with two businesses—one in New Mexico and one in San Clemente, California.
When competitive bidding took effect in July 2013, the Golden State location lasted just five months, closing on Dec 31, 2013, and laying off all 10 employees. Despite the hardship, 47-year-old Eberhart is an optimist, choosing to fight on in the face of what he views as an often dysfunctional group of legislators.
“As messed up as our government is right now, and as difficult it is for the right to talk to the left, we have to fight for the obvious,” says Eberhart, who serves on the board of directors for the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare). “I got into the business 20 years ago because I wanted to take care of people, and make their quality of life a little bit better. It’s kind of like fighting for your kids. Would you stop fighting for your kids or your mom and dad? No.”
Right now, the Farmington location is not directly under the cloud of competitive bidding, but Eberhart knows all too well knows that the clouds are coming. Until then, he plans to continue fighting for legislation designed to fix the program and additional legislation to address onerous audits.
Eberhart has two teenage daughters, and these days he spends a lot of time on the road between his home base in Southern California and his New Mexico HME business. He has little time for leisure, but tries to play tennis, SCUBA dive, and sail when the opportunity arises.
During the Fall, Eberhart plans to make yet another trip to Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 20-23 in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. “When I first started going to Medtrade, I did not realize what a huge deal it would be to just talk to people and do networking,” he muses. “It has been really life-changing. Medtrade has made a huge difference in my professional life.
“It is difficult for me to get continuing education units (CEUs),” continues Eberhart. “Medtrade allows me to collect some CEUs—sometimes a lot and sometimes a little—but it forces me to get out and continue the educational process. Without Medtrade, I would not be in the position I am—being part of a great organization like AAHomecare and having experienced the professional growth. I get a ton out of these Medtrade shows every year.”