Amid Questions, Industry Prepares for Medtrade Spring

As the uncertainties of competitive bidding continue to make for turbulent times for DME suppliers, the industry is preparing for Medtrade Spring, the first big "all HME" show of 2008.

The landscape will undeniably be different for this year's Medtrade Spring, starting with the location: The event has temporarily moved seaside to picturesque Long Beach, Calif. (Don't worry, Sin City fans: The show returns to Las Vegas in 2009). Construction on the Las Vegas Convention Center required this year’s show to find another venue, according to Medtrade officials.

Indoors, the altered landscape will include the absences of several major names from the exhibit hall: Drive Medical, Invacare Corp. and Permobil have confirmed they will skip Medtrade Spring.

Nonetheless, a Medtrade spokesperson says she expects 375 exhibitors to set up shop inside the Long Beach Convention Center, and educational sessions will give mobility and rehab attendees the opportunities to learn about everything from bariatric seating (presented by Jane Fontein and Stephanie Tanguay) to proper usage of ABNs/Advance Beneficiary Notices (Peggy Walker).

As usual, the American Association for Homecare-hosted Continuum of Care educational conference takes place on Tues., May 6, the day before the exhibit hall opens. The rehab/assistive technology program includes sessions on access sites and input controls for assistive technology devices, and clinical justification for Medicare-purchased power mobility (Elizabeth Cole).

In addition, Medtrade is offering educational sessions on accreditation; business operations; information technology; legislative and regulatory issues; reimbursement; and sales and marketing. AAHomecare's semi-annual Washington Update is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., Wed., May 7.

To address those persistent competitive bidding questions, VGM and CAMPS are presenting a day-long seminar on May 6. The seminar will include information on the final rule, the competitive bidding program’s rounds one and two, subcontracting options, and how suppliers can determine appropriate bid amounts for their businesses. Seminar discounts are being offered for VGM, CAMPS and state association members.

Early-bird pricing for many of the educational courses (and to register solely to attend the exhibit hall) is in effect through April 1, 2008. Go to www.medtrade.com to register for the show and educational conferences.

Medtrade 2008 returns to Atlanta at the end of October.

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