The HME industry isn’t going anywhere


HME News is part of United Publications, a business-to-business media company. In addition to HME News, United Publications publishes Security Systems News, a business newspaper that covers the security industry. (Instead of home medical equipment providers, their readers are primarily security installers.)

Each Monday morning at 10 a.m., the department heads at the company meet in the conference room to update everyone on what they and their teams are working on. Editors: We’re working on this issue and this hot story and this groundbreaking project. Publishers: We’ve sold this many ads for the issue and we’re hitting the road to see these advertisers next month.

At this week’s meeting, I felt like a real Debbie Downer.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of exciting things that we’re working on. Pre-show and show issues for Medtrade. A new “Referral Source Speaks” webcast with not only Mike Sperduti at Emerge Sales but also Jeremy Kauten at VGM Forbin. A Technology Special Report (look for the insert in the September issue). Finalist applications for the HME Excellence Awards (find out the winners at Medtrade). The HME News Business Summit.

We have our hands full.

But so do HME providers—and not in a good way. That’s where Debbie Downer comes in.

In addition to waiting for CMS to update everyone on competitive bidding (a Round 1 re-compete timeline this summer and Round 2 single payment amounts this fall), I shared details on two new developing stories:

1.) Medicare has decided to change the rules that providers must follow to refill orders for supplies like CPAP masks and tubing.

2.) Medicare has decided to apply inherent reasonableness to certain diabetes supplies not already included in competitive bidding (non-mail order supplies).

Neither is likely to result in anything good for the HME industry.

Meanwhile, my colleagues at Security Systems News have no such meltdowns to share. Nope, just stories on a management shakeup at a big-named security company and a security exec who got stranded for 10 days on a remote island after engine problems crippled a cruise ship that he was on headed from Argentina to Ascension Island by way of Antarctica.

I’m just jealous, of course. (The stranded security exec is ranked No. 3 on—how cool is that!)

While the editorial team at HME News is happy to report on the weekly trials and tribulations of doing business with Medicare (it’s very important!), we’re always looking to mix it up. So next time one of us gives you call, don’t be afraid to tell us what happened on your last vacation. I’m sure we’ll be able to tie it into HME somehow.

I do feel better knowing—and HME providers should feel better knowing—that one thing the HME and security industries have in common is that they’re indispensable to the future of this country. Neither is going anywhere.