Medtrade Springs captures ears, eyes of industry

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Friday, March 6, 2020

LAS VEGAS – Medtrade Spring’s last hurrah in Las Vegas might have been quieter than in past years, but those who came to the show were ready to roll.

“The movers and shakers are wheeling and dealing,” said Joey Graham of Prochant. “The floor is a little quiet, but we’re having lots of amazing conversations.

This year’s show took place March 3–5 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, its home since 2013. It featured 40 new exhibitors and more than 30 educational sessions across six tracks.

While it’s impossible to escape the nonstop news reports of the coronavirus, show organizers say the impact of the outbreak was minimal. While several exhibitors from overseas had to cancel due to travel bans, attendance was tracking in line with last year.

“(As far as we’re concerned), it’s business as usual,” said Show Director Mark Lind.

This year’s Medtrade Spring was the first with Lind at the helm and his mark on the show was already apparent, including through a New Exhibitor Collection featuring companies making their show debut.

“That’s a nice add,” he said. “It gives companies a foothold in the space to see what Medtrade Spring is all about.”

A big part of what Medtrade Spring is all about is the chance to connect in person, say attendees and exhibitors.

“It’s networking, re-engaging relationships with people,” said Richard Webb of Monitor Medical. “Face to face is what you don’t get from a phone call.”

Exhibitors used the show as an opportunity to check in with their customers, they say.

“We like to make sure our clients are happy and this helps with that,” said Morgan Ernesti of Aryse. “We value that.”

Medtrade Spring also draws providers looking for new products and services. Still one of the hottest this year: CBD products. That was music to ears of Jerry Mathes, who used his time at the show to clear up industry confusion.

“Education is key for these people,” said Mathes of Miracle Nutrition Products. “It gives people the the information they need to make educated decisions.”

But don’t discount traditional DME items, which in many cases are being given a makeover to meet the demands of today’s market. One such product that caught the eye of Patrick Reagan of Providence Home Medical Equipment: a bed transfer pole that is packaged in a smaller box so that his physical therapists can bring them in their cars to home visits to hospice patients.

“I’m thinking a lot about product innovation,” he said.

While this year’s show didn’t feature a track dedicated to the competitive bidding program, it is never far from the minds of providers. During the AAHomecare Update on Wednesday morning, Jay Witter provided a quick update on the industry’s efforts, including H.R. 2771 and H.R. 4945.

“First it was impeachment, now it’s coronavirus, but we continue to work through our issues,” said Witter, senior vice president of government policy. “We’re looking at some larger vehicles, including a Medicare extenders package.”

Even before the show wrapped on Thursday, attention had already shifted ahead to next year, when Medtrade West makes its debut in Arizona.

“We’re booking for Phoenix,” said Lind.