As it could've been expected, there was slightly less traffic at Medtrade in Orlando. However, the attendees that came were ready to do business and looking for solutions. They were planning to survive & thrive (as VGM put it) in this new landscape. They came to Orlando to seek new opportunities and other products, which their company could feature to develop new OTC cash sales.
galore! Upon arrival, I sashayed to the new product pavilion. This was like a magnet
because dealers were standing in line waiting for their turn to see all
the “goodies.” There were many!
You know, if I still were a dealer, one of the ideas I like was to start selling inexpensive clothing designed for use in any facility. I saw from some vendors new clothing items that are easy to wash and dry and comfortable for the patient. There also was a vendor bringing linens designed for use by patients at home or institutionalized. These items are very specific, sturdy and easily maintained. I can see the bed-ridden patients and senior citizens at these facilities that would benefit from these special items for their comfort. There were the vendors bringing so many new items and approaches and I tried to see them all.
Another sight for sore eyes was the “Emerging Company Pavilion". This to me was a high spot! You are able to make a great living without depending on “competitive bid” dollars. Keep what you already have but put all your efforts to develop more OTC cash sales. That is the path to be on!
I participated in the “welcome” session for new attendees. It was a pleasant surprise that so many attendees got up early. Kevin Gaffney outlined what could be found on the exhibition floor. When I spoke to a number of these entrepreneurs I saw the future of DME/HME growing in their good hands.
The “Washington Update” followed this; Jay Witter (AAHomecare) brought everyone up-to-date on what is happening in DC, which can affect our business. He made it very clear that”:
1.) Yes, we face many difficult times!
2.) We can beat them all by working together.
It is reassuring when we all heard what Jay and the teams at AAHomecare are doing.
I left that session with enthusiasm recognizing how much AAHomecare means to the entire health care industry. We must all give them our 100% support. They are in a position to get results and this new team led by Tom Ryan will do just that! I would like to see every dealer or provider become a dues paying member of AAHomecare (as well as their state DME association).
When Tom Ryan spoke, I relaxed, and recognized that he is the person we need to guide our industry. If you have not already signed on, please do so STAT. It was the largest attendance that I can recall. We met so many friends and associates and got more hugs and kisses than ever.
Tuesday evening the staff of HomeCare Magazine had a “meet the new team” get together for the Board with the staff. They are filled with refreshing ideas and the magazine will stay in the forefront as a leader.
Thelma and I next went to the annual AAHomecare STAND UP FOR HOMECARE RECEPTION fundraiser. AAHomecare awarded Scott Meuser (Pride) and yours truly for our contributions on behalf of the profession. All I can say is “thank you”, however the award should have been given to Thelma. All these years she has kept me on line and worked as my partner!
In the Show News Daily #3, published by HME News they reported “GET IN THERE”, a small gathering of DME providers (all located in Florida District 8) and reported how they contacted their Congressman Bill Posey. They have earned his full support for HR1717 and he is helping get additional help from Congress.
Colleen Hunter (Browning's Pharmacy) and Gene Sego (Sego's Home Medical Equipment), both independent dealers from Central Florida, led the session. There were other passionate HME/DME providers also in attendance at the meeting including Donna Sammon of Browning’s Pharmacy; Kamen Jenkins of Wuesthoff Home Medical; and Greg Bonenberger of Brevard HME.
Colleen Hunter said, “We want to let everyone know it can be done.” Gene spoke about how much the beneficiaries are suffering, as we are so aware. Congressman Bill Posey (R FL-8) sent two of his staff to attend and visit Medtrade.
My hope is this effort will be replicated throughout the United States with the co-operation of the state DME associations. We must get HR 1717 passed and the “Competitive Bid” eliminated.