The changing shape of the HME industry


It’s only the fourth day of summer, but at HME News headquarters, we’re already thinking fall. (Which is a shame, really, because summers in Maine are so, so short!)

Why? Believe or not, we’re gearing up for our pre-show (September) and show (October) issues for Medtrade.

Most years, the show issue features a special report. This year’s topic: the changing shape of the HME industry.

As part of the report, we plan to focus on three major ways in which the industry is changing:

Consolidation (During a presentation at Medtrade Spring earlier this year, Craig Hittle of Somerset CPAs said the number of HME providers will consolidate to about 8,000 from about 10,000. I believe my memory is serving me correctly here. If not, Craig, let me know!)

Scope (HME providers are shifting to more of a post-acute care mindset and business model. This is one of my soapboxes as you’ll see here and here and here.)

Data/technology (HME providers are looking at billing and operations as more than a way to process claims and fill orders. They’re using them for analytics and business management.)

Among the questions that we’ll be asking a mix of industry leaders, attorneys, analysts, providers and vendors: How are consolidation, scope and data changing the shape of the HME industry from a big picture perspective? How are they changing how providers do business more specifically? What opportunities and challenges exist in each of these areas? How are providers reacting to these opportunities and challenges? How do these changes affect how HME is perceived by the outside world…by CMS, by lawmakers, by consumers? What will be the end result of these changes five, 10, 15 years down the road?

We also plan to profile two providers that are leading the pack in one or more of these areas.

Stay tuned.