Jim Hewlett works for ‘goose bumps’

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Jim Hewlett worked in marketing and merchandising before he decided to pursue a career in orthotics, first working directly with patients and later, developing accreditation standards and testing and inspection protocols.

“It’s important for people to educate themselves on all the changes and Medicare changes everything on a daily basis,” said Hewlett, recipient of the 2018 Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service. “To keep up, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the profession.”

Although Hewlett is retired now, he still keeps his hand in as an author, educator and consultant. He spoke with HME News recently about the importance of accreditation and working for goose bumps.

HME News: How does it feel to receive this award?

Jim Hewlett: It’s very humbling and I never dreamt I would get it. Many wonderful friends—including Jim Newberry—were very generous with their time and knowledge, and I remain grateful for their mentorship.

HME: You’ve done a lot of work developing accreditation standards for BOC and surveying facilities. Do you think accreditation has had a positive impact?

Hewlett: If you compare the HME industry now with when accreditation began n 2009, it has come a long way. Accreditation has made providers much more efficient. I think people are doing more things right and proper today than they ever have, and that’s a good thing.

HME: What do you find most rewarding about orthotics?

Hewlett: Everything from mastectomy fitting to putting an AFO vest on a stoke patient. When I make a difference in someone’s life it gives me goose bumps. As a marketing person, I was taught to watch my profit and loss statement on a daily basis. Once I started getting goose bumps, I left all that to my accountant and worked for goose bumps. The more I got, the checkbook kind of took care of itself.