A Peach of a Show

Industry gearing up for Medtrade Fall in Atlanta

From Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, the HME industry will descend on the Georgia World Congress Center in Hotlanta for the Medtrade Fall 2008 conference and expo.
Medtrade will kick off its 29th year with “Opportunities and Challenges Ahead — The State of the HME Industry,” a panel-style opening keynote session on Tuesday, October 28 at 8:45 a.m.

The session will be moderated by Tyler Wilson, president and CEO of the American Association for Homecare, and the featured panelists will include Cara Bachenheimer, senior vice president of government relations for Invacare Corp.; Georgetta Blackburn, vice president of government relations forBLACKBURN’S; Lawrence Higby, CEO of Apria Healthcare Group; Alan Landauer, CEO of Landauer Metropolitan; Scott Meuser, chairman and CEO of Pride Mobility Products; and John Miclot, president and CEO of Respironics.

The panel will discuss the outlook on Medicare policy, trends that will impact the industry going forward, top legislative battles for 2009, challenges facing HME providers and manufacturers, and current and future advocacy efforts.

“Our industry has achieved an important goal with passage of the Medicare bill, which imposes a moratorium on the competitive bidding program and mandates reforms,” says AAHomecare’s Wilson. “But the HME industry still faces serious challenges and this roundtable discussion with thought-leaders in the homecare community will provide insights about how we can meet them.”

Conference
In addition to the keynote, Medtrade fall features a dozen conference tracks ranging from accreditation to rehabilitation and assistive technology. New for this year, the Medtrade educational conference will offer “The Future of Rehab & Assistive Technology: Opportunities & Lingering Threats,” a general session for the rehab track, running from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 28.

Panelists for the general session include Marty Ball (TiLite); Kendra Betz (Veterans Affairs’ Office of Prosthetics & Clinical Logistics); Jerry Keiderling (U.S. Rehab); Tim Pederson, WestMed Rehab/RATC Chair; Hymie Pogir (National Seating & Mobility); Mark Schmeler (University of Pittsburgh); and Cody Verrett (Quantum Rehab). The panel discussion will give rehab stakeholders the chance to discuss and explore major, timely industry topics.

Expo
The expo will feature more than 600 exhibitors covering 180,000 square feet of exhibit space this year, and the show floor will also feature a Center State theater area on where companies can deliver presentations or demonstrations to provide more details about their offerings. Attendees can find the schedule in the Show Directory that is provided onsite. The Expo will open on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 10:00 a.m., following the keynote address, and wind down close Oct. 30 at 3 p.m.

Of course it wouldn’t be Medtrade without a little entertainment. For starters, Medtrade will host its first-ever Medtrade Oktoberfest Celebration on the show floor from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. This free event lets attendees and exhibitors alike network while still checking out the show floor. As every year, Medtrade make a donation to The Shepherd Center, one of the country’s most prestigious and deserving rehab facilities.

Also, AAHomecare (Booth 2343) will host the third Stand Up for Homecare cocktail reception to raise funds for the industry’s public awareness campaign on Oct. 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Omni Hotel in the CNN Center, with entertainment provided by singer Ashley Matte.

The campaign has helped fight legislative threats to the industry such as competitive bidding with ad and public relations campaigns to counteract CMS’s media efforts. Companies and individuals can sponsor the program through a tiered program ranging from Gold sponsorships for $3,000 (which gets 10 tickets and logo placement on the event’s signage) to individual patron sponsorships for $150 per person (one ticket). More detail on the tiers and a sponsorship form can be downloaded at www.aahomecare.org.

This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of HME Business.

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