New center of health care?

Friday, July 31, 2009

NASHVILLE--Bob Zandee has been on the sidelines of the HME industry for years now, but he has been making a lot of noise recently. Zandee has been acting as a healthcare liaison of sorts to Dallas-based Market Center Management Company, which plans to open a Medical Trade Center in Nashville, the first of its kind. The company announced in May that it could open the center, which will include permanent showrooms for manufacturers and distributors, temporary trade show space, and conference facilities, as early as 2010. Zandee believes the HME industry should be in on the action.

HME News: What could be HME’s role in the trade center?

Bob Zandee: I’ve had people say to me, “It’s difficult, not to mention expensive, for us to bring bigger equipment like power wheelchairs to all these different events.” This would be a place they could always keep their equipment. Also, healthcare today is all about integrated delivery networks - HME is part of that. It could make up 15% of the center.

HME: Why is there a need for a Medical Trade Center?

Zandee: Over time, we believe this will be the center of health care. People can’t afford to go to all of these shows any more. There are more than 500 healthcare-related trade shows and conferences each year. Quite a few manufacturers have told us: “We support anything that can get our exhibit costs down.”

HME: How would providers benefit from the center?

Zandee: Let’s say you’re a provider and you want to get into a new product line: You can go to one place, any day of the year, and see whatever it is you want to see in a more relaxed atmosphere.

HME: Who is Market Center Management, anyway?

Zandee: They’re huge developers. They have other centers already in Dallas and Los Angeles. The Dallas Market Center is 5 million square feet. It has apparel, lighting and garden.

HME: Does the center have a home yet?

Zandee: We’ll have news on that soon, but overall, we’re looking at the project in four phases: The first phase will involve taking over a building that’s 300,000 square feet. The next three phases will each involve an additional 500,000-plus square feet. In all, it could be 1.5 million to 2 million square feet.