'Pleasantly surprised' at Medtrade Spring

Friday, March 22, 2013

LAS VEGAS – All things considered, show organizers say the turnout at Medtrade Spring was better than expected.

When CMS announced in late January an average reimbursement cut of 45% as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding, Kevin Gaffney knew the news would dampen attendance at the industry’s second-largest trade show, held less than two months later on March 19-21.

“We honestly budgeted attendance to be down based on what was going on,” said Gaffney, group show director for Medtrade and Medtrade Spring. “But we ended up doing better than we thought.”

Show organizers say there were 252 fewer attendees this year compared to last year.

While the number of registrants for the conference was down, Gaffney says the number of registrants for the expo was in line with last year, a sign that providers were on a mission to shake up their product mixes.

“The education was important—it was standing room only in the retail sessions, and it was packed in the efficiency sessions—but providers were really looking for new products,” he said.

That’s something that resonated with the vendors that were exhibiting at the show, Gaffney says.

“They had adjusted their expectations, so they were pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Buzz-worthy news

Some of the most buzz-worthy news being discussed at the show included a potential bill to delay the implementation of Round 2 until the end of 2013 (see related story), an upcoming congressional briefing to educate lawmakers about a bill to create a separate benefit for complex rehab, and the planned departure of Tyler Wilson from AAHomecare (see related brief).

TV spotlights audits, valuations and more

Also, two dozen industry stakeholders sat down for interviews with HME News TV, sharing insights on everything from audit activity (it’s up) to valuations (they’re down) to retail (it’s not for everyone). Highlights include:

Bruce Brothis, president of Allegient Billing and Consulting, shared his nine Ds to becoming a successful provider—everything from developing retail to data mining to determining a use for the advanced beneficiary notice (ABN) to document imaging.

Consultant Bill Stelzer shared the key to turning a retail business, like home modifications, into a cash-making machine. Here’s a hint: It has to do with a consumer-driven business model.

Gary Long, the chief revenue officer at Brightree, shared where he sees software going next, including increased data mining, and increased interoperability with new technologies (like telehealth) and different healthcare players (like hospitals).

Click here for additional highlights from Wednesday’s interviews and here for Thursday’s.

And the award goes to…

On the last day, show organizers announced the booth award winners:

Best Booth Award—Towson, Md.-based Roadnet Technologies, a developer of products and services that reduce transportation costs for companies.

Provider’s Choice Award—Carrollton, Texas-based AM Airway Management/VirtuOx, on the strength of its TapPap Nasal Pillows CPAP mask.

Innovation Award—Wayne, N.J.-based Maddak for its Morph Wheels Foldable Wheelchair wheels.

Merit Award—Buford, Ga.-based The Evenup Corp. for its length-correcting shoelift device.

Creative Concept Award—West Springfield, Mass.-based DME Train for the creativity of the company’s marketing efforts in its booth.