Medtrade: 'It's the one time of year I get to see the exciting side of HME'

Thursday, September 16, 2010

YARMOUTH, Maine - It looks like more HME providers--but not a lot more--plan to attend Medtrade this year compared to last year, according to an HME News Poll that will appear in the October issue.

The reason for the uptick is simple: Providers are hungry for ideas and strategies to help them survive competitive bidding and other industry challenges. One provider summed it up this way: "Knowledge is power, and (the need) to stay abreast of the rapidly changing events in our industry cannot be overestimated."

Of the 122 people who responded to the poll, 53% said they planned to attend Medtrade this year and 51% said they attended the show last year. When asked, "What will be your top priority at the show?" 41% said education, 44% networking and 15% buying product.

"Buying will focus on new niche, non-competitive bid products," wrote a provider. "(We'll network) to exchange valuable information with other successful providers. And education is essential in today's regulatory environment for our survival."

Other reasons for attending the show include: keeping in touch with vendors; pressing the flesh; looking for new opportunities and challenging the status quo; promoting industry solidarity; keeping up with industry trends; and seeking out retail products.

"It's the one time of year I get to see the exciting side of the HME industry," wrote a provider. "I like seeing people that I speak with on the phone throughout the year. With the constant negative drum beating, Medtrade gives me a chance to get excited about out industry."

Of course, not everyone feels that same level of excitement. Those planning to skip Medtrade said it was too expensive. Others said fewer manufacturers appear to attend the show these days, with one provider calling the event "a shadow of its former self."