A blog with many paragraphs (and a preview of the September issue)


It’s hard to focus on HME-related news these days, what with the Olympics (how awesome is Missy Franklin?), the Chick-fil-A controversy (things have become way too politicized in this country) and the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal (people who don’t want to get caught cheating don’t drive around LA and make out in cars).

It doesn’t help that the HME industry is in a ridiculous holding pattern on any number of issues, most prominently competitive bidding (where is that Round 1 re-compete timeline; like Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty, if I get one more reminder to “Get Ready for DMEPOS Competitive Bidding,” I might scream); the market-pricing program (where is that CBO score?); and the PMD demonstration project (tell us the start date already).

Knowing our luck, we’ll find all of this out this Friday (at 5:05 p.m.).

Despite this holding pattern, there’s not a dearth of news. Doing a quick scan of our CAN (a virtual bucket, if you will, of all the stories we have planned for the issue), we have stories on

•    audit contractors recycling cases (there is not a light at the end of the tunnel, apparently);

•    the possibility that the Linde-Lincare deal will affect provider relationships with Lifegas (it turns out it’s not that great of a possibility);

•    a provider who’s encouraging others to donate parts for doggie wheelchairs (that wins this month’s award for originality, I think);

•    a schism between retail and mail-order diabetes providers (what does everyone say about the lack of unity in this industry?); and

•    a look at how vendors are taking advantage of Facebook (one power wheelchair manufacturer likens itself to Harley Davidson).

My point with this list: While stories on competitive bidding and other topics considered hurtful to the industry get the bulk of the industry’s (and our) attention, there are plenty of other things going on in the industry that point toward signs of life (well, minus the audits).

And to be honest, I’d rather read any HME story over two of the three current events listed above. Sorry HME, the Olympics are going to get you every time, but at least it's only for 17 days every two years.