Friday, October 18, 2013

Reflections: A Different Medtrade Part 3

These are very trying times for DME/HME dealers. The ability to eliminate the “Competitive Bid” legislation, which is constantly on everyone’s lips, is the problem we face.  I spoke with many dealers on the exhibition floor and almost all were concerned.  What is happening can be addressed, but this requires much more than “what can I do?”

I asked every person that I talked to if they belong to AAHomecare and their state DME association. A great percentage of them did!  These are the folks have always been the backbone of our profession, but they are in a minority because far too many providers or dealers do not belong!  I am comfortable that after this Medtrade many more will realize that if they do not belong there will be no one to fight for them.

Cara Bachenheimer (Invacare) once again delivered a positive message.  Her session assured us that CMS would do the right thing; the “face-to-face” requirement is a problem.  But Cara is satisfied this will be moderated.  After hearing her, I am sure many of the attendees will now become team players.

Mark Higley (VGM) spoke a great deal about the current ACA legislation.  There will be many

changes made by Congress but he feels (as I do) that the Affordable Care Act will prove to be beneficial for DME/HME.

I was unable to attend many of the talks and classes I would have liked.  But when speaking with attendees, they were all very pleased with what they saw and heard.  This ability to meet and speak with the staff of AA Homecare and with state association officers is the key to why it is imperative that every DME/HME dealer attend.  Medtrade is where you find out what to do, where to go and who are your allies.

Mal Mixon (Invacare) reached back his day as a Marine Corps officer: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  With people like Mal on our team there is no question this year at the Medtrade Exhibition was so important.  We all can make changes that we should have done years ago.

Many attendees had the opportunity for delightful refreshment at the BEER GARDEN (thank you Infopia USA). We all worked hard, but even more important is that we all join forces.

If we are to get the politicians in DC to respond, we have to show them that we are all working together and the problems we ask them to resolve are not just from DME/HME dealers or providers. We have tremendous support from all our customers, patients and family caregivers. They have to understand that we work closely with the physicians, nurses, hospitals and rehab clinics in our communities.  DME is an integral partner in the chain of health care support in the United States.

What we have is formidable, the ability to help elect or re-elect those who support us.   A vote is more important than a dollar to keep those Congressmen who support us in office.  Let us all follow the lead of a few dealers in Florida who met with their Congressman and he is now a good friend.

You can see that Medtrade is a great deal more than just vendors and dealers sharing time.  DME, rehab, IV, PT & OT and every facet of healthcare is addressed.   The cost to attend; carfare, room and board is so minute, but the ROI for this investment is that your company will continue to flourish and grow.  That is what MEDTRADE means!

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