Think outside the box...and think big


It may be cliche, but nothing describes the theme of this year's HME News Business Summit better than "think outside the box."

At last year's Summit, there were a lot of unknowns. Round 1 of competitive bidding hadn't started. The healthcare reform bill had been passed, but many of its provisions hadn't been implemented. Long story short: Change was in the air, but we didn't know what shape it would take.

This year, we know more. Competitive bidding has been the law of the land in nine cities since January 1. CMS has begun taking steps to implement provisions in the healthcare reform bill, like releasing proposed regulations for accountable care organizations. So where does this leave HME providers?

That's where "think outside the box" comes in. Now is the time for providers to examine their businesses and explore new opportunities. I don't just mean diversifying your product and payer mixes. Those things are important, but we're thinking even bigger.

Think: HME providers can weather the storm that is competitive bidding. There are speakers at this year's Summit from the Charlotte competitive bidding area who are still standing. It hasn't been easy, but they're surviving, and they will share their experiences with you.

Think: HME providers need to prove their value to other healthcare players, so that they're part of the solution. If the major goal of accountable care organizations is to reduce re-admissions, speaker Greg Spratt will demonstrate how hospital and home-based respiratory therapists need to--and can do--a better job working together.

Think: HME providers need to gather more advocates, like speaker Dr. Steven Landers. Landers is a physician at the Cleveland Clinic who knows a thing or two about the public health and policy issues that demand an increasing role for home care. He believes, whenever possible, that patients belong at home and not in hospitals.

Know this: After two solid days of education, brainstorming and networking, you'll be ready to "think outside the box" and think big.

See you in Charlotte.

View conference schedule.

View program.

Liz Beaulieu