Silver and Tin
This year celebrates two important anniversaries for HME Business.
- By David Kopf
- Jan 01, 2018
This month marks important milestones for me and HME Business: 10 years ago, I became the editor of the newly re-launched publication, which was born out of Home Health Products News, and 25 years ago, then-HHP now-HMEB started serving readers. So, we have a silver anniversary for the magazine and a tin anniversary for me. (Hey, tin’s not so bad — I’ll take it!)
As most readers know, I’m not an HME professional; I’m an editorial professional. Prior to editing HME Business, I had edited magazines mainly for the telecommunications and data networking industries, and had written for the powersports, nursing and financing industries. So, home medical equipment represented a bit of a learning curve.
That’s okay. We business editors are trained to learn new markets, and frankly I was jumping at the chance to edit this magazine. I had been involved in some magazine re-launches, and thought HME Business was one of the smartest and timeliest that I’d seen. While Home Health Products News had served up regular issues of solid HME product coverage for 15 years, it was clear that the magazine needed to change with the industry.
Why? For starters, competitive bidding, the 36-month rental cap on oxygen products, and Medicare accreditation for DMEPOS were all coming around the corner at the time. Also, the demographics of the industry were changing with a massive influx of baby boomers that would help redefine the industry. Moreover, new business models such as retail sales were starting to attract serious interest and discussion. Clearly, HHP needed to evolve into something that could offer deeper insights into significant issues.
Hence HME Business was born. My mission was to transform the publication into a forum that readers could depend on to get useful information on new trends and challenges. As we launched the print magazine, we also unveiled a newly revamped website at hme-business.com, and increased the frequency and depth of our news coverage and e-Source e-newsletter. We also added social media and an extremely successful webinar program to further the education HMEB could offer.
Best of all, it worked! Like I said, I’ve been involved with magazine relaunches, and even with the best market insights, readership studies, expert advice, and focus groups, they don’t always work out. Re-launches are tricky projects that can be white knuckle affairs, but HMEB came out on top.
I credit that success to one thing: people. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and as a 25-year editorial veteran, I can say with confidence that it takes an industry for a trade magazine to succeed. Bearing that in mind, some thanks are due to some key groups of people.
First off, I want to thank you, the readers of HME Business. I can honestly say that of all the magazines I’ve been involved with, you have easily been the most involved and engaged readership of all. Whether it’s in emails to me, story comments on our web site, or replies on social media, you are not afraid to share your opinions and ideas. Best of all, I regularly get a chance to talk to readers at tradeshows, which rarely happened when I was writing for other industries. Suffice it to say, your regular involvement helps keep this magazine a fresh, lively and useful publication for the industry.
Second, I want to thank the industry experts who contribute HMEB. From interviews, to stories, to columns, to webinars, there are many knowledgeable, informative people out there who are willing to share what they know. This includes our editorial advisory board, the members of which are listed to the right of this column. Over the years, some board members have left, some have returned, and some have remained on the board since day one, and all have made major contributions to the editorial mission of this publication.
Third, I want to thank our advertisers. The vendors that support this magazine, our site, e-Source, the webinars and social media platforms help keep our lights on, and ensure that we keep providing useful news, insights and information on daily basis to the industry. Moreover, their support is an affirmation that 10 years later, we are still creating a meaningful forum for HME providers.
Lastly, I want to thank my co-workers: Karen Cavallo, our publisher; Laurie Layman, our art director; Sydny Shepard, who covers products; Caroline Stover, who manages ad sales; Marlin Mowatt, who directs our web site; Charles Johnson, our production coordinator; Susan May, our marketing director; and Lynda Brown, who assists on ad sales. They’re the hardest working team in the trade magazine business.
All of you have played a very important role in my life over the past 10 years. Know that you have my deepest thanks.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.