Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why You Have to Be at Medtrade

There are a great number of problems facing HME providers today. Attendance at Medtrade will enable you and your company to get many ideas and directions to help resolve them. If you have not registered, please visit and do so now. Your future may depend on it.

At this moment, with the election coming next week, the pressure on most Congressmen seems to be who will be elected and who will be sent out to pasture. The amount of dollars being spent this year by both major parties is mind boggling. I must assume they all must see a big ROI for all the money they are investing.

For our industry, the main questions are:

Is the competitive program going to produce any positive results?
Are the reimbursements going to put many small operations out of business?
Will there be standards established or will everything be based on the lowest price only?

I assume the “lame duck” Congress that will remain in power after the election will not have the courage or drive to help resolve any of these. Our industry will stay in limbo until the new Congress is sworn in. But we cannot stop for an instant in getting to the incumbents and the new elected officials with all the information you can gather.

At Medtrade you will hear speakers who will provide excellent material for you to bring home. You will be able to meet with the officers and staff members of the state and national DME associations. They will arm you with tools to bring to Congress.

The buying groups who have been in the trenches, working not only for their members but for all the industry have much valuable information for you to bring home.

There is no other place where you can get so much to help guide your company through the wild waves. You have to be at Medtrade this year. If you have not yet registered, please do so STAT. I will be walking the floor. Please try to say “hello!” Thank you!

Time to Get Excited

As we get closer and closer to the opening of this year’s Medtrade Expo and educational conference in Atlanta, more and more excitement is growing. For each attendee a great crescendo will be reached as they enter the event.

How many vendors will they be able to visit? How many seminars and lectures can they attend? How many friends and associates will they meet? It is breathtaking for every HME provider to stand there in amazement as they see the plethora of opportunities that are awaiting them at Medtrade. There is so much sitting on the Expo floor and so many classrooms headed up by experts and professionals to provide guidance this year.

Make sure you attend those seminars this year that will provide new paths for your company to enter. There will be many vendors with new products, promotions and educational tools for your company – all waiting for you at Medtrade!

How to pick and choose from this cornucopia, overflowing with prospects for growth and profit will be a challenge. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This year providers will find a great deal more. At Medtrade providers will also see how they can protect themselves from some of the frightening legislations hanging over their heads.

Speakers, state HME associations, national associations, and the buying groups are all in attendance. You will get many new ideas to be sure your business gets through this so-called “recession.”

Try to find me walking the showroom floor. Please call if you have a free moment (877) 553-5127. Together we will share the excitement this year in Atlanta.

(If you have not registered, do so now at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Medtrade: The Definitive Event

If you look back to the previous Medtrade events, one thing becomes very clear. Medtrade is the most definitive meeting HME providers can attend. This is where many problems can be resolved. Medtrade is where new ideas and new opportunities are always being presented.

Working with and listening to peers on the Expo floor and attending seminars help develop a rather large comfort level. As a consequence of this, attendees can absorb much more information to bring home with them.

What makes Medtrade so valuable? It is the most decisive stop on a provider’s road to success. There is no other venue where one can meet a multitude of vendors. It is where all the new products and OTC cash sales items are there to examine. You know your market and at Medtrade you can pick and choose those which fit into your operation.

I recall a Medtrade meeting, probably about 25 years or so ago where I first saw a chair stair glide that would take a person up or down a flight of stairs. It was, I thought at that time, rather an expensive over –the-counter item. However, the first day one was set up in a provider’s showroom, an elderly couple came in, saw the demo and was impressed. The sale was made and from that first sale, and from word of mouth, units were moving out regularly. Sales were also made to local churches. Yes, that is what Medtrade can do for you.

Continued growth and increased profits are what everyone seeks. At Medtrade the opportunities for both are found. I meet with many friends when I walk the showroom floor and I hear them describing Medtrade as the most perfect meeting they attend.

I look forward to hearing from you. I have received a number of exciting phone calls, so please do not hesitate to give me a shout. I apologize that I inadvertently gave a wrong digit in the last blog. There is space under the column where you can send comments, but a telephone call to (877) 553-5127 is always appreciated!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good News - Becoming a Member Just Got Easier

Is your future at stake? What is happening in Congress? What are the rules being foisted on you?

HME providers have to protect their business. While doing that they also must protect all of their clientele. They need you! This cannot be accomplished alone; by banding together with other dealers, the chances for success are in your favor.

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) is today the most effective and strongest voice you have. The association is opening the door for every HME provider to become a member. It has rolled back fees to the 1997 rate and has made it possible for smaller providers, those who do less than $600,000 sales annually, to become a member. Thank you!
This is wonderful news. Annual dues now are only $995/annum or $600/annum for small providers. Please join now! You can visit the AAHomecare booth (and the state HME association booths) at Medtrade.

The cost of membership in AAHomecare and your state HME association is not an expense. It is a normal part of the cost of running a business. You must purchase insurance to protect your investment. You have to belong to these associations for the same reasons, to protect your bottom line. If you have any doubts about this, please ask your accountant and you will find that it is true.

I could list all the benefits that belonging gives you. When you read the industry journals you will realize how they address every problem our industry faces on your behalf. Every day AAHomecare and your state DME associations are working for you. If every HME provider would become a member, they would be able to accomplish many more things for the industry.

I know how valuable membership is, so please pick up the phone and call AAHomecare at (703) 535-1882 and tell them Shelly sent you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An "Accessible" Opportunity at Medtrade

In a previous blog we spoke about an entrepreneur in the Northeast who bought the house next to his establishment. He did it so he could furnish it with the multitude of products available for people with disabilities. He also displayed all the needed ADL items. There were canes in different rooms and a soap-on-the-rope in the shower. A model bedroom, an ideal kitchen and the perfect bedroom all set up to be seen! Every room in the home, every closet, the windows, the plumbing all had something to show. Even the telephones were very special.

At this home, here is a full-time person in attendance and a call to the main office will bring in any additional help. A desk was filled with literature and order forms. No one left empty handed, but the point was that they returned and bought items for themselves or for Mom and Dad.

The success of this home was breathtaking and word-of-mouth keeps a flow of visitors checking out this house.

At Medtrade this year there is a new treat in store for all called the “NextGen Medtrade Accessible Home: A Healthy Living Lifestyle Environment.” As the name implies, it will show as many items that can be set up in the space allotted. All attendees should find the time to visit this exhibit; it will give you many ideas that you can bring home. This is just one of the many new important features of the 2010 Medtrade in Atlanta.

Every exhibitor, every speaker, buying groups, state DME and national associations are all there for the same reason. Their common goal is to show you what they offer to benefit your business.

I have watched how Medtrade as developed from the very beginning. I am so pleased each year to see the new items and meet the new attendees. I see that this year will be the best. If you would like say hello, please call. I am always at your service (577-553-5137).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Medtrade's Keynote Speaker Will Inspire

Experiences at Medtrade are always enjoyable and exciting things as well as educational. The ability to listen to the keynote speaker provides an opportunity to learn. I have heard politicians, lawyers, educators, physicians and presidents of major companies. They all brought with them ideas that enable the audience to improve their business. They provide tools how to exist in a trying atmosphere.

This year at Medtrade you will be able to listen to a professor who will send you home filled with techniques to prosper and eliminate the “gloom and doom” outlook.

From the Columbia University Graduate School of Business comes Professor Cliff Schorer who will give dealers and providers a new insight to become more creative. He calls it “a road map to success” for the HME/DME industry. He is known as the “Entrepreneur in Residence” at his school. Who better to show you new ways to grow sales and increase profits? Isn’t that why you attend Medtrade?

Professor Schorer's many years of study and deep understanding of business will filter down to each person in the audience. He is the keynote speaker and will set the tone for Medtrade. You will find listed close to 100 lectures to attend. I describe Medtrade as the learning center!

You have to be there and bring key employees to participate with you. Your team must come prepared and then return to your home base with all the new ideas.

But that is just the beginning of why you and your staff are attending Medtrade. Study the many seminars that are available to you and divide them up with as many people as you can bring. Each will return and share with everyone in your company what they have learned.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What to do Today - Part II

Once you have taken the time to prepare a new “business plan” as outlined in Part 1 and have reviewed it with your accountant, then the next step is to place it into action.

Taking action is how you will be able to get every member of your staff involved. I suggest that this be done away from the office so there should be no diversions. Your staff will realize the importance of this plan to grow the company when meeting in a neutral location (they each have a vested interest in success).

A copy of the goals for each segment should be prepared prior to the meeting and given to the employee charged with that part. They will be able to study and make their plans for success. When this is shared with the entire team, you will be very pleasantly surprised at what other staffers will suggest. Do not omit the drivers and delivery staff; you will be delighted when some gems come from them.

Last year at Medtrade, I spoke to an old associate of mine who does this annually. He told me that his is a very profitable company run with rather a small staff. Which I was very aware of! Every member on his team feels that they are a vital cog in their company. He treats them all extremely well with bonuses, tickets to the theatre, or a dinner for two at a local restaurant. These are presented as awards for progress.

This “esprit de corps” is one of the major keys to developing both new sales and profits. Think of your company as a football or baseball team. If every player performs at 100% of his or her capability, you, the manager, are the winner.

Since I have done this all the years I was in business, I can share with you some of the experiences I have had. I would like to know how you have fared. If you have a few free moments, please call me (877) 553-5127 and let us see if we can meet at Medtrade in Atlanta this year.

What to do Today - Part I

We are standing on the threshold of a changing economy. We are all aware of what the last 24 months have done to our profession. Now, our industry must look at things differently.

Every indication seems to be saying that the “recession” is almost behind us. I feel it was a depression, but whatever people wish to call it, times are changing.

When the times are changing so must you. There are three months left to this year. I suggest that you sit down today to start to write a new business plan for 2011. Review where in the last 24 months the bulk of your sales were developed. Did they come from OTC, Medicare, Medicaid or other third-party payors? Perhaps you are in a locale that has a great number of walk-ins, this must be considered. The important first thing to study is where the sales came from?

The second step is to break down all sales by just how much each discipline provided. Did the sales come from oxygen, rehab, diabetics, incontinence products, sales or via walk-ins? Please include the total of every segment you provide, not just the major ones. If you need any additional help, ask your accountant.

Once all of the material is gathered and studied, then the next step is to report to your staff the results. It is very important that you involve every employee. Then together new goals can be established.

It is important that you get everyone working for the company involved. Even your delivery staff will be able to tell you about what they see when bringing parcels to accounts.

In my next blog I will bring you to part 2. If there are any questions you have, please call me at (877) 553-5127. I have heard from some of my readers and am always excited when you take a moment to call me.