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On the Editor's Desk

A fine line 

May 18, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Am I the only one getting CPAP shortage vibes from the baby formula shortage?  I’m not going to lie. The formula shortage wasn’t fully on my radar until recently. With a seven-year-old, my days of buying formula are long over. But seven years ago, it would have been a different story, as my daughter was 100% formula fed. (My breastfeeding story, by the way, is not uncommon. Difficulty with latching. Supply issues with pumping. There is no shame here.)  I can’t imagine...

Consolidation, CPAP recall, CPAP shortage


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All the news that's fit to print

May 17, 2022Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

Rising costs. Inflation. Never-ending pandemic. Never-ending supply chain challenges.  Or, as AAHomecare’s Jay Witter so succinctly summed it: It’s "rough" out there.  He’s not wrong, of course, and I occasionally look at our headlines and think, “Yikes.”  However, as I am reminded every day, week and month, HME providers are a resilient bunch, as evidenced by a quick perusal of headlines in this issue.  There are stories about growth,...

Home Medical Equipment


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 What’s the buzz? Medtrade show sets stage for work ahead

April 20, 2022Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

I occasionally miss the hum of working in a busy newsroom – not the clackety-clack of keyboards or the smell of microwaved fish – but that buzz of sounds that melds into a mélange of forward momentum and accomplishments, that sense of Things Are Happening Here.  Such was the case at Medtrade West in April, where attendees flung off two years’ worth of Zoom fatigue and hit the show floor.  It was music to Show Director York Schwab’s ears.  “As...

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On the Editor's Desk

Silos, recall and more

April 19, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

The most read stories of the first quarter of 2022 point to a lot of changes in the HME industry right now.  Our No. 1 most read story, “Owens & Minor buys Apria, reaches deeper into home care,” points to an accelerating trend in the larger health care industry where vertical silos are disintegrating. Here, we see a global distributor and logistics company buy an HME provider (this follows its previous acquisition of Byram Healthcare). These kinds of deals have happened before,...

CPAP recall, health care silos, Oxygen NCD


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Medtrade West: Closing the book on Phoenix, looking ahead to BBQ? Texas? The Aquarium?

April 6, 2022Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

If I were the betting kind, I’d say Dallas is the odds-on favorite for the inaugural once-a-year Medtrade launching in 2023 as people on the show floor discussed the Big News. A surprising sleeper suggestion: Kansas City. “BBQ,” one attendee told me, pointing out the obvious. No one liked my guess that it would be located in Cincinnati. To clarify: I’m not saying I’m itching to go to Cincinnati, but hey, it’s centrally located is it not? At any rate, the...

Home Medical Equipment, Medtrade


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On the Editor's Desk

To be continued ...

March 17, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

When we included a Q&A with Josh Britten in our HME Newswire in February, I wasn’t surprised it resonated with readers. Britten, CEO of BritKare Home Medical, shared his battle to get back nearly $650,000 in denied Medicare claims – a battle that took him six years and more than $100,000 in legal and consultant fees. One provider responded to the story on Twitter by writing: “When you incentivize claims denial as a means of revenue generation you will find reasons to deny...

Administrative Law Judge, Josh Britten, Medicare appeals, Wayne van Halem


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Mom, margaritas and Medicare Advantage

March 15, 2022Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

My mom and I don’t talk on the phone every week, but we do check in on the important stuff. Take a recent phone call from mom.  Me: Hi Mom, what’s up?   Mom: We’re having a neighborhood margarita contest and I plan to win, so I wanted to get your recipe.  Me: Well, I think I just make them really strong?*  Fast forward to this week and all we seem to be talking about here at HME News is Medicare Advantage. Now, Mom has been talking up a storm about...

Medicare Advantage


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On the Editor's Desk

What's the Advantage?

February 16, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

When I think about hot topics in health care these days, the escalating adoption of Medicare Advantage is at the top of the list. Enrollment in MA plans has more than doubled in the last 10 years to about 24 million in 2020, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 42% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in MA plans in 2021, KFF says.   Seema Verma, the former CMS Administrator, told HME News in October that, “We should see greater adoption in Medicare Advantage plans,...

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Game plan: Get to know H.R. 6641

February 16, 2022Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor

Lest you think a reporter’s work life is all glamour and press junkets, think again. It’s often a dull retread through accumulated information to provide context and updates while we wait for the next big story.  Take that old staple we here at HME News refer to as the legislative update. Every month (every week, if she could get it), Editor Liz Beaulieu pesters me for a legislative update, even when it feels like there’s nothing new to report.  I, in turn, pester...

H.R. 6441, HME News, Home Medical Equipment


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On the Editor's Desk

Think about it

January 12, 2022Liz Beaulieu, Editor

Well, 2022 is certainly starting off with a bang. The first rumblings that big things are going to happen this year was an announcement on Jan. 6 by Stryker that it plans to acquire Vocera Communications. This does not have a direct impact on the HME industry, per se, but it does speak to large players in mostly the acute care space getting more serious about extending their reach beyond hospitals. Stryker said Vocera brings a portfolio of products to address “the increasing need for...

Apria, Baxter International, Cardinal Health, Medically Home, Owens & Minor, Stryker, Vocera


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