Medtrade musings

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10/16/2018

For a number of reasons, I didn’t attend Medtrade last fall (husband at must-attend leadership retreat, leaving me single parenting it) or the HME News Business Summit last fall or this fall (medical emergency from hell, hurricane from hell), so it was great to see so many of you in person this week at Medtrade.

I’m talking about you Gary Sheehan of Cape Medical Supply, Joel and Josh Marx of Medical Service Co., Mike Bailey of Handi Medical Supply, Patty Mastandrea and John Sphon of MedCare Equipment, and more!

On Monday, I sat in on a number of sessions that were part of Medtrade’s competitive bidding track, including Jeff Baird’s session on the “gap period”—that 18 to 24 months when any Medicare-enrolled provider can provide DMEPOS to Medicare beneficiaries. There were a good number of questions, a sign providers are really digging into what’s best for their business. One attendee, a current contract provider, asked Baird if they could drop their Medicare business on Jan. 1, 2019, when the any willing provider provision is set to go into effect. “You have an absolute right” to do that, he told her. It’s almost as if a hush fell over the crowd.

On Tuesday, I spend the morning on the show floor, talking with mostly exhibitors. Some of the things I learned:

  • 3B Medical’s Alex Lucio says the company has sold out of its Lumin Bullet, a device that cleans CPAP hoses, even though it hasn’t even started production yet. The company expects to make the device available in December. Why is it resonating so much with providers? Two reasons: First, it’s an easier sell to CPAP users at $99 retail than a Lumin CPAP Cleaner at $249 retail; second, “Dealers are hungry for more cash items, in general,” Lucio said. “The Lumin line is outselling anything else we sell.” 3B was also talking up its first portable oxygen concentrator, the Aer, at Medtrade. It plans to make that available in January.
     
  • Ron Richard, who has been a presence in the HME industry at a number of companies, is back on the scene at Medtrade this year with a new company called AirAvant Medical, which makes the Bongo Rx, a small device that goes in each nostril and creates back pressure when users exhale. The company is positioning the Bongo Rx as a retail product that needs a prescription, and it was at the show to build a dealer network to provide the product to users. It envisions them selling the devices in a four pack, one each for 90 days. The company plans to release the results of a clinical trial in January that compares the device to CPAP devices and shows that it meets all AASM guidelines for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
     

More faces to see and more stories to hear tomorrow, including from Pride Mobility and Quantum, Apacheta, The Compliance Team, Brightree and more.

But first, another hour on the show floor, and then the Stand Up for Homecare Reception. See you there!