Over-the-counter retail products breathe new life into HME businesses
by Shelly Prial

Before the showroom doors opened for Medtrade Spring, AAHomecare president, Tom Ryan, addressed the attendees of the AAH Washington Update with, “I need you, and you need us.” The room was at capacity, and Tom reported on the problems faced by our industry. It takes a great deal of courage to speak as honestly as he did, and we all understood what he was trying to accomplish. AAHomecare works on behalf of all DME/HME dealers. I want to add to his words that every dealer or provider must become a dues-paying member of AAHomecare in order to resolve a great number of the difficulties we face. Otherwise, we might see far too many independent dealers forced to close their doors. This year, Medtrade Spring was truly important—dealers and vendors brought with them opportunities for new over-the-counter cash sales. With CMS and Medicare doing their best to reduce and postpone reimbursements, dealers sought these over-the-counter cash sale products to elevate and encourage profits. Exhibitors obliged, with many new potential choices. This is encouraging for our industry! I spoke with many attendees to hear their take on the show. Paul Belli of Shield Healthcare in Valencia, Calif., was excited about all the new products available. The many reimbursement changes had him studying new cash sale opportunities intently. John Dyason of Eden Healthcare Solutions in Albury, Australia, said, “We have been in mobility solution provision for nearly 30 years and need to stay energized and educated. After a brilliant time at the ISS meeting in Vancouver, we had planned to go home through Hawaii, but we heard of Medtrade in Las Vegas! We are hoping to network with peers, find new products and learn.” Many of the vendors, such as Randy Keller of Disposable Technologies, Colleyville, Texas, brought with them new ideas and techniques. “We came to this show to make the industry aware that we have an answer to the growing crisis in the health care industry,” he said. “Our product helps meet needs to make drugs inert in minutes, including controlled substances.” On the exhibitor side, Heidi Thometz of Computers Unlimited/TIMS Software was delighted with the activity at her booth. This enthusiasm was repeated by a great number of the exhibitors. Many were so active that I was unable to speak with them (isn’t that nice?). The Medtrade expo and show offers a place to make friends and create new sales for dealers and vendors. This is something that Reagan Hogarty, VP business development, Jordan Industries International—and a new guest—agrees with. “It is difficult to find a show with more product breadth and quality people,” Reagan said.