Medtrade: Attendance declines but seminars full

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ATLANTA - While overall attendance declined at Medtrade in September, the show's day-long clinical and reimbursement workshops attracted an unprecedented number of attendees, education officials said.
Medtrade's Show Director Art Ellis described attendance as off "slightly" from last year. Educational seminars, however, reported a 10% increase in attendees. Given the uncertainty troubling the industry, it's not surprising that more providers than usual opted to save money and bypass Medtrade, Ellis said. Nor, he added, is it surprising that this year's attendees flooded the show's educational offering.
"They need that education if they want to change and stay in business," Ellis said.
Organizers of the Medtrade Reimbursement and Continuum of Care conferences were ecstatic about the sessions' popularity, as approximately 360 attended the reimbursement program. Interest in the sophomore conference ran so high that the sponsors had to turn away prospective registrants.
Likewise, the clinical symposium, which offered continuing education units, boasted 355 attendees--an increase of more than 100 from last year. The rehab track drew 150 people, followed by respiratory (85), sleep (75) and orthotics and
prosthetics (45).
Reimbursement conference attendee Bettie Stayton said information is what she came for and exactly what she got.
"I'm going to follow up on a lot of the points that were made today," said Stayton, office manager for Elgin, Ill.-based Total Health Care.
HME industry newcomer Paul Demmink of Kassapolis, N.C.-based Medical Modalities said he never realized the degree of difficulty associated with Medicare reimbursement, but that the speakers clarified a lot of issues for him.
"They gave me a deeper perspective on what I've learned so far," he said.