HME is all around if you know where to look


I was scanning Facebook the other day out of sheer boredom when my attention was caught by this post: "So excited, I am getting my oxygen filled tonight."

Turns out, it was for use in stained glass design or wine making or some other endeavor more glamorous than, uh, breathing.

As a reporter, you know you're immersed in your beat when you start seeing references (or in this case, not really) to it everywhere you look.

But, I guess that's one of the main points the HME industry has long made: home medical equipment IS everywhere. I spoke to a man in a wheelchair at Borders Books on Saturday (he was finding everything just fine, thanks). On Sunday, I spotted a walker and shower bench at my friend's gramps' house (Big Ed is about 89 and deaf as a post but still living a full, busy life).

And lord knows, there is a never-ending parade of canes, walkers and rollators that I see heading into the restaurant I can see from my office window.

As I dialed for stories last week, I heard provider after provider talk about all the struggles they face. But, as one put it, "There are 75 million people out there that are going to be needing our services."

He's right, of course. HME isn't going away any time soon, but what the industry looks like after the dust settles remains to be seen.

BTW, Big Ed and I have matching glucometers.

Theresa Flaherty