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Ready and waiting for change

Ready and waiting for change

2023 has a different feel to it already.

A big change that’s immediately staring us in the face: Medtrade. That’s the Medtrade, as in the only Medtrade and newly in Dallas, not Atlanta or Las Vegas or more recently Phoenix, Medtrade.

Per usual, we have special coverage on the show starting on page 21, including a story on the excitement exhibitors have and a Q&A with speakers Ronda Buhrmester and Collin Donaghue on one of the hottest markets in HME right now (CGMs, silly). Oh, and please make those exhibitors, as well as Managing Editor Theresa Flaherty, happy by also viewing the show products featured in that section (Theresa carefully collects and compiles all of these submissions, a largely thankless job).

Another change already in 2023: We now know, after more than three years, that the public health emergency will end on May 11, ushering in a new era, one without some of the waivers and flexibilities that were in place during the PHE. Luckily, CMS has expanded the coverage criteria for home oxygen therapy and Congress has passed legislation to keep telehealth covered through the end of 2024.

The biggest question, post-PHE: What will happen to those patients who providers set up during the PHE and who they will continue to bill for beyond the PHE? As Andrea Stark and Jeff Baird point out on page 3, we’re waiting for guidance about that from CMS. The CQRC makes the case on page 9 – and Stark and Baird agree – that CMS should grandfather these patients.

But the biggest change so far this year might be Invacare’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s not a complete surprise, given the company’s challenges trying to transform itself post-consent decree, but a surprise, nonetheless.

This news, combined with the difficulty Philips has had with its recall, has “taken some of the shine off” the industry’s long-time, premiere manufacturers (a provider’s words, not mine), opening up the eyes of providers to other manufacturers. That is a good thing, especially when supply is low (though recovering) and demand is so high.

There are other indicators this year will be different: Now that they have a couple of wins in their pocket, a positive attitude by industry stakeholders toward Washington, D.C., (See story page 3), and Quipt Home Medical’s acquisition of Great Elm’s DME assets, signaling busy deal-making (See story page 1) – just to name a few. 

We’re ready and waiting to report on it all.


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