Hits and misses

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sometimes I think there’s too much crying wolf in this industry. Take, for example, The Scooter Store using a headhunting agency to recruit assistive technology professionals (ATPs) to build up its complex rehab division, Alliance Seating & Mobility. Let’s face it: There’s nothing illegal - or even wrong, really - about recruiting. In more competitive industries, it’s standard operating procedure. Yet, some in the rehab industry are railroading The Scooter Store for it.

Are ATPs really going to jump ship en masse to work for The Scooter Store? Probably not. At the end of the day, I think most ATPs are like Mark Schmeler. He says people are always asking him why he doesn’t trade in his job at the University of Pittsburgh for something higher profile and better paying. Schmeler just shrugs his shoulders (or that’s what I picture him doing on the other end of the phone line). First of all, he knows UPitt isn’t going anywhere - he has job security; secondly, he knows the more money you make, the more money you spend.

So be like Mark: Shrug your shoulders and do what you do best - take care of patients and, through that, grow your business.

Nodding heads

If you didn’t catch the forum hosted by Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, on April 8, you missed a beautiful thing. Mal Mixon, Invacare’s chairman and CEO, was one of about 30 healthcare executives who participated in the forum to discuss how redesigning the delivery model for chronic diseases and other measures can improve care, increase efficiency and save money. When Mixon, who had the floor for about five minutes, talked about how “every patient in every hospital or nursing home dreams of one thing: going home,” there were heads nodding everywhere. Now, if only the industry could get those heads and others to connect HME with home. Why is that so hard to do?


Now that Florida providers have three state associations to choose from, I have questions. If FAMES has been flailing for the past few years, why didn’t stakeholders just come together to revive that association? Why revive FAMES and then start another association (Florida Alliance of Home Care Services or FAHCS) and then another (Florida Home Medical Equipment Association)? What’s a state representative or senator going to think when he gets letters from three different associations, even if they all ask for the same thing? This seems counterproductive, to say the least, especially for an industry that’s constantly touting unity.