Women's health providers race to annual conference

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Keeping up with the changes in the HME--and retail--marketplace requires women's health providers to stay on their toes. This year's "Focus on the Future Conference and Tradeshow" stands poised to help attendees do just that.

The 10th annual event, hosted by Essentially Women, a buying group, will take place April 19-22 in Louisville, Ky. The theme: Race to Success.

Historically, the women's health industry has been unaffected by CMS mandates like accreditation and surety bonds, said Cindy Ciardo, manager of vendor services for Essentially Women. Not anymore, she said.

"We need to help our members acclimate to the changing environment and help take them into the next generation of how-to-sell," she said.

Technology is a huge part of that next generation, and this year's show will help providers bust out of the gate with sessions like "Technology: Friend or Foe?" and "Social Networking for Dummies: Driving Retail Sales in the Digital World."

"Those that haven't utilized technology are the ones having the most difficulty--they don't have or don't use e-mail daily, they don't bill electronically, they don't have computerized records," Ciardo said.

The conference also offers sessions on accreditation. Although the deadline for accreditation has passed, it's important for providers to capitalize on their investment. Accreditation is more than a certificate on the wall, points out Ciardo.

"Accreditation helps to improve business practices and uncover problems, whether ethical, operational, billing or employee management," she said. "It can also help to secure insurance contracts. It can certainly be used for PR purposes. It's important to learn how to use your accredited status."

In addition to the educational sessions, more than 60 vendors will exhibit at the show and there will be plenty of networking opportunities. For more information or to register, go to www.essentiallywomen.com.