A reflective Mal Mixon remains resolute


Mal Mixon recently completed a new book chronicling his life’s experiences, but in no way is he ready to close the chapter on his company Invacare or the HME industry.

The author of “An American Journey” realizes that Invacare’s run-in with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the industry’s battle with competitive bidding are still very much unfolding and he stands resolute in his support.

On Invacare, he said: “We’ll get through it. We’re taking the criticism that comes with it from Wall Street, but I believe we’ll come out stronger for it.”

On competitive bidding, he said: “I’ll keep fighting for the industry. I won’t give up and, hopefully, we’ll beat this thing.”

Drawing from his experiences, including his stint with the Marines; his college years at Harvard University; his job at Technicare, a division of Johnson & Johnson; and his decision to lead the purchase of Invacare, Mixon had these words of advice for HME providers:

Look outward

“I think this industry has been sort of inward. Providers have always been more concerned about their businesses and how it affects them. A few leaders have emerged to carry the ball for the industry, but when you look at the hospital and physician lobby, we’re almost no voice at all. A professor at Harvard told me, ‘If you don’t blow your own horn, someone else will use it as a spittoon.’”

Stay positive

“I always see the glass as half full. I know that home care is going to be huge eventually. People are living longer and the cost is lower at home. I can’t see all of America living in institutions. I think the ACO concept is in favor of home care. If I were a hospital president or CEO, I’d have a homecare component that took care of my patients.”

Keep learning

“I meet a lot of different people. A lot of times, you can do something for them or teach them something, and they can do the same for you. I say, 'I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up.' I’m learning all the time. I try to apply what I know, and the more I learn, the better I become.”