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Let's keep talking

Let's keep talking

Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty and I conduct quite a few interviews for the stories that appear in HME News. By all accounts, our May issue features quotes from more than 40 different people.

I hope that’s not lost on you, dear readers, as this is one of the things that sets HME News apart.

We’re on the phone with providers, manufacturers, vendors, consultants and other HME-affiliated professionals every day, discussing industry trends and developments, teasing out challenges and opportunities, predicting what might be the next big thing – all so we can make your voices heard.

There are some great quotes in this issue, in particular – quotes that can get lost in the dozens of interviews and stories that are featured, so I’d like to highlight a few of them.

Take Theresa’s interview with Penny Allen, the recipient of the National Home Infusion Association’s 2023 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing a distinguished leader in the field who has provided significant service to the association and the industry (Go here). Allen talked about the drug shortages facing the home infusion industry and how dangerous those can be – “If you rely on parenteral nutrition and you don’t have something like thiamine for a couple of weeks, you can die” – yet we live in a world of hangover clinics and celebrity health fads.

“On a recent podcast, Gwyneth Paltrow was getting an IV infusion of vitamins, but we don’t have vitamins for people with cancer,” she said. “She can drink a Gatorade instead of taking valuable things away from people whose life depends on this.”

Or take my and Theresa’s interview with Allen Hunt, president of Hart Medical Equipment (Go here). This Allen, who, as far as we know has no relation to the previous Allen, talked about how providers need to reframe their conversations about their value. He knows a thing or two about it, as Hart Medical Equipment is owned by five different health systems.

“We have an opportunity when the time is right to have a seat at the table and talk about how DME can be part of the solution,” he said. “If you’re talking about saving $2 on a walker, you’re having the wrong discussion. What we need to talk about is timing. When does the patient get that walker?”

There’s more where that came from.

Linda Langiotti on Medicare’s newly expanded coverage guidelines for CGMs (Go here): “We are in a rapid-fire change environment,” she said. “Changes are coming out left and right, so the HME providers are at the forefront of adopting all these changes quickly, so the beneficiary doesn’t feel it.”

Paul Miller on Medline’s decision to start distributing ventilators (Go here): “If we learned anything in the last few years, with the supply chain challenges and the recalls, it’s that we want to step up and cover the full continuum of care,” he said. “We’re going to build from this to also add an oxygen concentrator and a CPAP device. We are a respiratory company.”

So, all of this to say: Let’s keep talking. You can reach me at 207-810-7424 or Theresa at 207-332-0629.


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