Not good. Great. If I do say so myself.


Last week, I had quite a few calls and exchanged quite a few emails with the speakers at this year's HME News Business Summit, Sept. 11-13, in Charlotte, N.C., to discuss panel discussions and presentations.

I knew, earlier this year, when I was finalizing the program for the Summit, that I had lined up a good group of speakers. Don't take it from me. A former editor for HME News who has moved on to another business newspaper in another industry emailed me to say, "If that doesn't draw them in, I don't know what will." I've also heard from a few providers that say the program looks "particularly good" this year.

So back to last week. I expected good stuff from this year's speakers. But what I got from them—for some,  in the form of panel discussion questions; for others, in the form of power point presentations—is great.

The speakers on panels are prepared to answer some tough questions and you'll want to hear their answers.

For the competitive bidding panel: What have been the unintended consequences of being a contract supplier or a non-contract supplier? What has been the financial impact of competitive bidding on your businesses? How has your business changed as a result of competitive bidding?

For the HME Excellence Awards panel: You all reported growth in the 20 to 40% range and average profit margins of 10% or more for the last two years; with everything going on in the industry, how have you been able to grow and be profitable? What are you doing to offset losses in revenue due to reduced reimbursement? How are you thinking out-of-the-box to overcome the challenges in the industry?

For the M&A panel: When we look at the M&A market today, where are we? What does this new environment mean for providers? Why should some providers be buyers? How can providers be comfortable being buyers when there's this huge question mark around reimbursement?

Other speakers will persuade you that you must use social media and that home care is the future of health care. There's no question.

These speakers are great and they want to help you be great.

I hope to see you in Charlotte next month.

Liz Beaulieu