What to look forward to in education and networking
by Greg Thompson
September 5, 2017

Is it really a work trip if you see no patients and sell no home medical equipment? Can such a trip really help your HME business?

“Sometimes you need to get away from the business to help the business,” says Kevin Gaffney, Medtrade’s group show director. “If at Medtrade you find five new products to carry, five valuable tips to use, and network with knowledgeable contacts, it’s worth the trip.”

This year, the Medtrade trip is scheduled for October 23-25, 2017, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The three-day show features in-depth learning via multi-hour workshops on day one, with shorter (60- and 90-minute) educational sessions and panel discussions throughout the show.

MEDTRADE 2017
Educational Session Topics

Audits & Compliance
Business Operations
Competitive Bidding
Executive Leadership
Keeping It Legal
Medicare Updates
Networking/Special Events
Retail, Sales & Marketing
Strategic Planning

“Medtrade is an invaluable chance to gain new inspiration, new knowledge and recharge,” says Mark Blount, vice president of marketing for Brightree.

Education Opportunities

Blount is part of the Brightree Summit, an event set for Monday, October 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Omni Hotel. The Summit is followed by a Networking Event, which will also take place at the Omni Hotel from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. While Brightree execs will share wisdom at the daylong event, attendees at the three educational tracks (training, executive and operations) will also hear from providers who are leveraging Brightree to improve their business operations and enhance profitability.

Monday’s offerings also include three other multi-hour workshops:
The Certified Durable Medical Equipment Specialist (CDME) workshop. Officials at the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) will cover the scope of practice for the CDME on day one. They will prepare attendees to take the CDME exam (additional $100 fee) on the final day of Medtrade (October 25) and earn the credential.

VGM’s Breaking Bad 2017 Reimbursement Seminar. Sponsored by VGM and The van Halem Group, a reimbursement analysis will be conducted, covering the most common misconceptions about documentation and billing (codes and modifiers) that have become habit due to the lack of clear guidance from Medicare.

HME Master Sales Training presented by Emerge Sales. This comprehensive sales training workshop is a straightforward and highly-effective sales and communication training program featuring Mike Sperduti, CEO and founder of Emerge Sales.

A New Kind of Session

The Medtrade 2017 educational program will incorporate more “town hall” like sessions, fewer lectures and more panel discussions (in some cases with competitors talking together), in addition to a new seating arrangement that encourages more interaction and discussion among attendees. Conference sessions are open to attendees with a conference pass (not Expo), unless the session is indicated as “open to all.” “I love the Medtrade sessions and the ideas they give me on how to run the business better, and how to get the team excited,” says Crystal Rivera, customer service representative supervisor for Naples Oxygen in Naples, Florida.

Expo Hours Show floor hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 24, and Wednesday, October 25. The show ends Wednesday evening, with special events on the show floor, when the expo concludes at 5 p.m.

According to members of the Medtrade educational advisory board (EAB), the overriding goal is to create a more close-knit HME community, while also ending the show on a high note. “Don’t underestimate the benefit of Medtrade,” says Sarah Varner, marketing director. “Yes, it takes time and money to go to the show, but we hear so many positive comments from attendees who return to work with great info for staff members, plus new products and manufacturer relationships that boost profits.”

Networking Opportunities

The Audit Happy Hour is a growing tradition at Medtrade, and the one-hour get-together returns on day one, October 23. The idea is put a fun spin on the miseries of audits by combining the subject with adult beverages. The one-hour get together offers a chance to meet with experts at a relaxed networking reception. Audit experts will be at the event and available to answer questions. Registration fee is $30, which includes all drinks, and advance registration is required.

This year’s Power Lunch takes place Wednesday, October 25, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Attendees fill their plates with a quick lunch and head to pre-selected tables where moderators kick-off roundtable group discussions. Learn from experts, hear from peers, and take solutions back to the office. Seats fill up quickly, so Medtrade organizers recommend early registration. Registration fees vary with time of registration, and advance registration is required. There will be a table for each of the eight topics. Attendees must select one table to attend when registering, and remain at that table during the event. Find the topics at medtrade.com.

AAHomecare’s "Stand Up for Homecare" Fundraiser Reception takes place Tuesday, October 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stand Up for Homecare is an excellent opportunity to help the industry and network with key leaders. Money raised goes to a proactive campaign that gets positive and accurate information about the HME sector into the media and onto Capitol Hill. Advance registration is required. Medtrade attendees may upgrade their registration to the Patron level for $150, and this additional level includes admission to the Stand Up for Homecare reception.

For enterprising entrepreneurs and inventors, as well as the industry standbys with new products to introduce at Medtrade, two opportunities present themselves: the Innovative HME Retail Awards and the New Product Pavilion, both sponsored by HomeCare.

The Innovative HME Retail Awards honor the best HME retail products. Entries are judged prior to Medtrade, and the top eight are chosen to be presented at a panel presentation, where the top three are chosen by a panel of judges and audience participation. Winners are announced on the show floor and receive an award for booth display. Entries are due September 29.

The New Product Pavilion receives visits from 97 percent of all Medtrade attendees. New products are displayed in the pavilion, to be voted on by Expo attendees. The top three receive recognition at the show and post-show press coverage. Entries are due October 6. All entries for both receive coverage in HomeCare's new product showcase. Contact your Medtrade rep today have your new product included.