With this issue, Mobility Management begins its fifth year in print. From a publishing standpoint, this is a big deal; few magazines survive to see a fifth year. From an industry standpoint, I suspect people are noticing, because people are starting to ask, "How many years has it been?"
During my time as editor, I have learned many things, including the fact that mobility and rehab have a unique rhythm and flow. This industry and its people move to their own cadence and have their own timing. Here's a sample of what I've learned:
- If you want to know when our friends at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will release a final rule, interim final rule, policy change, code list or fee schedule, grab a calendar and look for the next holiday or Medtrade show — the big news will come the day before. (If you're still in doubt, ask me when my next news deadline is — CMS will make an announcement the morning after I send my story to the printers. There also seems to be a correlation between a certain government affairs guru going on vacation, and big CMS announcements.)
- Try to wrap up interviews with folks from Indiana before daylight-saving time, because after the clocks change, you will not know what time it is anywhere in that state until fall. One of my interviews this month — Joe Garnett at Braun — pointed out that the D.O.T. (yes, the Department of Transportation) had to get involved in the time change this year. No joke.
- If you need to interview suppliers, call 'em before 8 a.m. their time. After that, they're out doing evals the rest of the day. If you miss them in the morning, look for them to return your call after 5 p.m. — "when things slow down," according to mobility dealer Darrell Frank at Lift-Aids in Euless, Texas. Darrell contributed to a couple of stories this issue, both after 5 p.m. Ditto for Rick Graver at Med-Tech Services in Reno, Nev., and Larry Rice from In Home Products in Dallas, who both contributed to our Medtrade Spring coverage after hours.
- Springtime is showtime for the rehab industry; you will see these people every two to three weeks all season long, so be nice to them. Incidentally, the plane ride to beautiful Vancouver is longer than you think it is, but you will forget this by the time you return in 2008, 2010, 2012…
- Finally: People in this industry work hard for a living and do not have time to help out a little startup magazine dedicated exclusively to mobility and rehab. Yet they will make time, time and time again. Thank you.
This article originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of Mobility Management.