OK, so we're shaking hands?

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03/04/2020

We’re back in Las Vegas, complete with hand sanitizer stations in the lobby of Mandalay Bay and conspicuously thinner crowds in the restaurants and at the blackjack tables in the casino, what with the unfortunate confluence of coronavirus panic and Medtrade Spring. I’ve shaken plenty of hands. I’ve also done some no-contact hand waves and one elbow bump. Hey, whatever works!

Medtrade SXSW

Show Director Mark Lind is definitely shaking hands. He’s also working the show floor, moving from booth to booth to check in with exhibitors.

He asked us if we’d heard anything from providers about the big move next year to Phoenix.

Truthfully, everyone’s been asking ME what I think and, personally, I say, why the hell not? I love coming to Vegas but I can see where a change of scenery might be a good thing. It’s less expensive and surely, there’s less smoking everywhere.

Still, if you aren’t happy, Lind, who’s begun putting his stamp on the HME industry’s signature event, wants to know about it.

“Send them to me,” he said. “I won’t hide from it. I’m easy to find. I’m the guy with the bow tie.”

Gallagher Power

There’s another conference here, something about Gallagher Power. (They're in insurance, the guy in the elevator told me.) Signs extorting "Gallagher Power" abound and there are thousands of people moving en masse, adorned with bright Gallagher lanyards around their necks. So far, the HME industry’s own version of Gallagher Power, VGM’s John Gallagher, doesn’t seem to have let this newfound power go to his head.

Pretty sure he's loving it, though. I know the rest of us are.

Merv Griffin, who?

One of the most immediate changes upon Lind’s tenure is the AAHomecare Update, which has been rejiggered—possibly reimagined—as the Merv Griffin Show. Lots of attendees (yours truly included) got the joke.

Not so for provider Josh Marx, which he freely admitted.

“I don’t know who Merv Griffin is,” said he, as he took the mic during the update.

That admission also garnered plenty of chuckles. But his, uh, shorter cultural reference timeframe, is also a good thing. It shows that yes, there is still new blood getting in to the industry. And the industry needs that new blood to drag the industry kicking and screaming into a new era, one it needs to adapt to.

That’s true of the need to consider how you sell, what you sell, and who pays for it. (Hint, not necessarily Medicare.)

Stay tuned.