In brief: Barbara Smith named Woman of the Year, Owlet Smart Sock tops retail products

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ATLANTA – Barbara Smith, CEO of Healthline Medical Equipment in Wichita Falls, Texas, was named the 2017 HME Woman of the Year at Medtrade on Tuesday morning.

Smith has worked at Healthline for 25 years and has been instrumental in the company growing from three locations, to 12 locations and 196 employees, according to a press release from VGM Group, which created the award.

“This is such a huge honor and is very, very overwhelming,” she said. “There are so many women out there doing great things in our industry, and it’s an honor just to be nominated.”

The finalists for the award were Smith; Lelia Wilkerson, director, Heritage Medical Equipment & Supplies; Rita Stanley, vice president of government relations, Sunrise Medical; and Maxine Paul, director of sales and operations, NuMotion, formerly owner of Academy Medical Equipment, Inc.

Over the years, Smith has been a powerful advocate for the HME industry on both a state and national level, VGM says. She was recently named president of the newly formed state association, TX MEP, which she helped to create.

“Barbara is a leader,” said Mike Mallaro, CEO of VGM. “She has earned the respect and admiration of people in her company, the referral sources and patients she and her company serve and her competitors and peers across the industry. She exemplifies the dedication and innovation required to evolve her business.”

The four finalists were selected from a pool of 38 nominees by an honorary committee that included last year’s winner, Dr. Kirsten Davin, owner and president of Precision Seating Solutions.

Owlet Smart Sock named top retail product

ATLANTA – The winner of this year’s Innovative HME Retail Product Awards at Medtrade is the Owlet Smart Sock 2, a device to track a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.

Taking second and third places, respectively, were the Strongback 24 Wheelchair and the Strongback Excursion Wheelchair by Strongback Mobility; and the Stability Gliders, a walker accessory, from Stabilized Steps.

“The awards are all about promoting and recognizing products that contribute to providers’ bottom lines through cash sales,” said Sarah Varner, marketing director. “All of these products embody what we like to call ‘caretailing,’ which is the unique place where the caring, customers service element that only HME retailers can provide, meets the traditional retail sale.”

There were eight finalists for the awards. The others: Jazzy Zero Turn Scooter by Pride Mobility; AirMini Portable CPAP Solution and AirTouch F20 disposable CPAP mask, both by ResMed; MyPainAway Sports Cream by Topricin; Mini-Tablet Holder and Smart Phone Holder by Delta; and SoClean CPAP Cleansing Device by SoClean.

The finalists each gave short presentations on Monday to share how their products help to boost cash sales. Judges Tim Rutti of Valley Medical Supplies, Rob Baumhover of VGM and R.J. Poonawala of Spring Branch Medical Supply cast their votes, along with audience members.

The awards, which take place at both Medtrade Spring and Medtrade, honor HME products that are particularly suited for retail sale.

PlayMaker gives providers ‘edge’

BOOTH 1760 – Franklin, Tenn.-based PlayMaker launched PlayMaker Edge for HME at Medtrade. Built specifically for the HME industry, the sales software combines comprehensive and timely market data and the provider’s referral data with industry leading relationship management tools to drive growth. “Increased regulation has HME providers looking for ways to do more with less, which means improving both the efficiency and productivity of their sales programs,” said John Miscavage, CEO. “Our innovative software enables HME providers to identify and take advantage of growth opportunities in the market by ensuring that their sales organization is working as efficiently as possible.” PlayMaker Edge is available through iOS and Android apps, and integrates with leading clinical management systems like Brightree.

Compass Health Brands launches campaign

BOOTH 1105 – Compass Health Brands launched a new brand awareness campaign at Medtrade. “Right Partner, Right Direction,” a three-page ad that has appeared in trade publications, including HME News, outlines the difference between Compass Health Brands and its competition. “Home medical equipment providers need a strong and credible partner to support them as they face significant challenges within the HME industry,” said Stuart Straus, president and CEO. “Our organization’s health is directly linked to our homecare providers’ success. We remain extremely committed to them and continue to look for ways to drive their long-term success.” At Medtrade, Compass Health Brands is showcasing its Carex retail line with new at-shelf education tools and planogram sets, both designed to drive sales. The company will also be introducing its newly upgraded ProBasics line of DME products, which includes wheelchairs, bath safety equipment and beds.

Drive DeVilbiss highlights its competitiveness

BOOTH 811 – Port Washington, N.Y.-based Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare had a number of products on display at Medtrade, including a 10 Liter Oxygen Concentrator, Respiratory Rollator Accessory Kit, Med-Aire Melody Mattress, Pure Expression Breast Pumps, Uccello Kettle and Comfort Touch Cushions. In addition, the company will display products from its new "Competitive Edge" line of products. “As one of the fastest-growing medical device manufacturers, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare continues to develop innovative new products that positively affect the lives of millions of people,” said Ed Link, chief marketing officer. “In addition, we strongly believe in supporting the providers by offering cost-effective, reliable products that help keep them profitable and competitive in the marketplace.”

Brightree offers Lockbox

BOOTH 710 – Atlanta-based Brightree launched Lockbox, an automated patient-pay service, at Medtrade. The company says the service will help HME providers received funds faster, improve their cash flow, shorten their revenue cycle and save hours in staff time. Lockbox provides an automated, high-speed document scanning process that replaces many of the manual steps that burden an HME provider’s accounts receivable. It posts all bank funds and documents online, and applies funds to the provider’s accounts receivable in the Brightree system. “Lockbox helps solve one of HME’s top concerns: how to get paid faster,” said Shaw Rietkerk, executive vice president and general manager, Brightree Revenue Cycle Management. “At a time when many companies are dealing with rising labor costs and increased borrowing costs, our automation technology gives customers an attractive payment processing solution.”

New exhibitors make debut

ATLANTA – Medtrade welcomed several new exhibitors to the show floor this year. Those exhibitors are: Able Diagnostics, booth 1570; Amsino International, booth 1257; Apis Footwear, booth 1049; Campbell Canes, HIRA booth 2245N; Chetu, booth 1051; Dry Corp, booth 1155; Encore, booth 855; Infinity Massage Chairs, booth 1955; Masimo, booth 2050; Regency Billing & Consulting; booth, HIRA booth 2245C; RX-Medify Turkwel, booth 2053; Seaward International, booth 754; and Young Won Medical Equipment, booth 1766.

New Product Pavilion makes strong showing

ATLANTA – The New Product Pavilion has nearly half a dozen new participants. They are: Acesco Healthcare Products, Aspen Medical Products, Caire, Drive DeVilbiss, and Dry Corp. Stop by the new product pavilion at booth 1455 to see what’s new and cast your vote for three Providers’ Choice awards.

Save the dates

LAS VEGAS and ATLANTA – Medtrade Spring 2018 takes place March 27-28 at the Mandalay ay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Medtrade 2018 takes place Oct. 15-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.