Skip to Content

The end of an era? Often, that's best

The end of an era? Often, that's best

Fall, for me, is a time of new beginnings. Maybe it’s because for so long, it was the start of ablues new school year. Maybe it’s because the New England air finally sheds its muggy curtain and I can breathe again. Feeling a sense of renewal and looking to make a fresh start at home, I hired a housecleaner to come in and do a deep clean. They scrubbed the markings off my stove dials and tried to overcharge me, but hey, my kitchen sink looks brand new.

For the HME industry, fall brings lots of educational and networking events to provide providers with the tools, the know-how and the motivation to move forward. As I write this, the HME News Business Summit is bearing down and I’ve booked my flight for Medtrade, the final regularly scheduled show for Atlanta.

One big topic on tap at Medtrade and culled from my conversations this month: What does the future look like in a post-pandemic world?

To be clear, I’m aware the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, but I also feel we’re getting to a point where it’s shifting from a pandemic emergency to an endemic situation, albeit one that is far more widespread than most of us would like to see.

In our October Newspoll nearly half of respondents said they are ready to operate in a post-PHE regulatory and operational environment. That aligns with what Ronda Buhrmester is seeing.

“Suppliers are ready to move on and get back to working in a normal environment,” she told me.

That includes the end of pandemic waivers that enabled providers to provide critical equipment and services at the height of the pandemic, when nobody knew which way was up, how long this dystopian nightmare was going to last and whether we needed to quarantine our groceries (spoiler: we didn’t).

Summit attendance – the first in-person event in two years – looks on track to break records and while I don’t know how attendance is tracking for Medtrade yet, exhibitors responded enthusiastically to our call for new products. That’s always a good sign.

Those same exhibitors by and large, are ready to bid adieu to Atlanta in 2023, as the industry transitions to one show. As Belluscura’s Robert Rauker summed it: “We’ll support Medtrade at any location.” Music, I’m sure, to show organizers’ ears.

And finally, as we put Atlanta – and hopefully, COVID-19 – in the rearview mirror, I am reminded that new beginnings often mean goodbyes – or at least, see you later.

At HME News, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to Jo-Ellen Reed, our stalwart account executive for longer than I can remember. She’s finally hanging up her calculator and her media kit.

However, she has my address and I expect I’ll be hearing from her down the road – via a postcard, of course.


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.