The Big Squeeze

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05/16/2018

Like so many others in the HME industry, HME News has downsized a bit. By that, I mean our parent company decided to give up one wing of our office space and move those people (who happened to be primarily HME News staffers) into the other half of the office where admittedly there was a lot of wasted space. Although, not quite enough space.

Administration referred to this as The Consolidation. Having gone from my own spacious cube with a window to a…corner I prefer to think of it as The Big Squeeze. Or, The Sardine Project.

As part of the move, I had to clear out quite a bit of stuff accumulated over the 10 years I spent in that cube. That included every single conference dog tag since I started in 2005. Postcards from those same locations I had the privilege of visiting (after all, it’s not everyone who gets the privilege of going to a hog roast in the middle of Iowa). Every issue of HME News since I began, including the first one I was part of, a Medtrade show issue that clocked in at about 110 pages.

In those days, I couldn't tell a power chair from a rollator.

If I had taken the time to flip through some of those 156 or so front covers, I’d see some long-forgotten names, companies that no longer exist and a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

We are now on the 10-year-anniversary of what I have long thought of as one of the most momentous years in HME history. We had Sen. John McCain on the cover in January as a homecare champion. We had stories about home sleep testing and CPAP regulations and complex rehab cuts.

And the bidding headlines! “This is flawed in so many ways’'; “Bidding blunders”; “CMS barrels ahead”; and finally, “Industry wins big” about the 18 to 24-month delay.

Well, we see how that’s turned out. And continues to evolve (devolve?).

At any rate, all any of us can do is go along to get along, like shouldering additional duties. Did I mention that my corner is also the first desk that the delivery folk see? I’ve become the de facto receptionist and go-to person for signatures.

Editor Liz overheard me this morning cheerfully chatting with the FedEx guy as I signed for who-knows-what. (Warning to my coworkers: I will sign for anything and everything without checking it so if you're ducking a subpoena or something, prepare to get served).

“You’re the receptionist extraordinaire,” she said. (She likes to show off her French language skills to me).

“Liz, I’ve decided to just roll with it,” was my reply. (I like to quote song lyrics back at her).

If you need me, I’ll be removing the extra thumbtacks from my bulletin board so I have more room to squeeze by.