Association takes bite out of apathy

Sunday, September 30, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Medical Equipment Dealers association ended up having a respectable turnout for its debut annual conference, but it didn't always look like it would be that way. A week before the Aug. 7 conference, UTMED had signed up only four attendees.
"People aren't always proactive here," said Brant Curtis, a project coordinator for Petersen Medical, which started UTMED last year with Alpine Home Medical. "I called every provider in the state. I told them, with everything going on, how important it was to attend the conference. It took someone bringing all of that to the front of their minds."
Eventually, about 50 attendees signed up for the conference. Seven vendors were there with tabletop displays.
The daylong conference featured several speakers who covered topics like national competitive bidding and Medicaid reimbursement. Next year, UTMED may expand the conference to two days and add presentations on training and other topics.
After attending the conference, providers in Utah will be more proactive, believes Tom Bradley, president of the association and president of Petersen Medical.
"There was a lot of talk about how we could affect positive change through the association and individually," he said.