Jump in. The water is fine.


New England is known, among other things, for its gorgeous fall foliage. For the past few years, hot dry summers (too hot for us natives) have led to muddied browns and rusty reds.

But this year, after a cooler, more seasonal Maine summer, we have been rewarded with brilliant reds, yellows and oranges. As with all things worthwhile, it was worth the wait.

In the run up to the mid-term elections, HME providers and its ubiquitous stakeholders have pounded the pavement, meeting with lawmakers and hopefuls. Over and over, they talk up the failures of competitive bidding and the breakdown of the audit system, hoping to make an impression—and more importantly, gain cosponsors on both H.R. 4920, the bid fix bill, and H.R. 5083, the audit improvement act.

While it seems like the same 5% of the industry does all the work, I think the other 95% are heeding the message. I spoke with Clark McInroy in early October. He’s in Wyoming, which recently joined Big Sky AMES after years of being without an association. McInroy told me he’d attended an association meeting and, after listening to VGM’s John Gallagher speak about the importance of talking with your lawmakers, came away fired up to do just that. He’s already begun, he told me.

Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet. (This is especially true on the Maine coast if you fancy an ocean dip). It’s really the best way to learn. I am briefly taking the reins here at HME News while our editor, Liz Beaulieu, is on maternity leave (it’s a girl!). The sheer volume of tasks that need to be remembered and attended to is eye opening but so far, I am enjoying the challenge. I am already becoming an expert on the HME Databank.

I suspect Liz is rapidly learning how to be an expert mom, because there’s really no way to ease into that role.

This month, we also welcome a new editor, Tracy Orzel, who we will throw out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire otherwise known as Medtrade. She flies to Atlanta on her official third day at HME News.