Strong buyer-seller interaction, essential educational programming and a multitude of new products distinguished the 26 th annual Medtrade Conference and Expo held Oct. 17 - 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The home medical equipment industry's leading event, produced by VNU Expositions, joined HME providers and home health care professionals with leading manufacturers of home healthcare products and technology and maintained its reputation as the go-to event for the home health care industry.
"HME providers - both large and small - recognize that a combination of education, access to new technology and networking with their peers is essential to their survival," says Art Ellis, group show director for VNU Expositions. "Despite the concerns this important industry faces in regards to regulatory and legislative issues, the commitment of the industry was apparent at Medtrade 2005, which is fortunate for the millions of home care patients who rely on them each day to maintain their independence."
The educational conference featured specialty events, such as the inaugural reimbursement conference, Reimbursement from Customer Service to Collections: What's New and What Works, and the return of the Continuum of Care conference, both co-sponsored by the American Association for Homecare and Medtrade. Likewise, the Medtrade educational conference showcased speakers who provided creative solutions to marketing and operational challenges, clinical treatment trends, and updates on the latest legislative issues. In particular, the AAHomecare Washington Update gave attendees a reality-based view of the efforts underway in Washington .
"The team from A&D Healthcare found this year's Medtrade to be very beneficial," says David Bowman, chief manager, A&D Healthcare, Cordova, Tenn. "The course offerings were quite useful, considering all the changes and challenges facing each of us in reimbursement issues, power mobility changes and activity cost management."
The Medtrade Meeting Place created a forum to share ideas and housed Accreditation Central, Grassroots Central and Meet the Speaker. At the debut of Accreditation Central, accreditation agencies and consultants offered attendees up-to-date information on HME accreditation that was made mandatory by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. At Grassroots Central, leading industry authorities and state HME associations offered attendees a wealth of information on grassroots lobbying and current legislative issues.
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, following the first day of the exposition, attendees, exhibitors and presenters attended the Medtrade Welcome Reception and Awards Ceremony. The event offered the industry an opportunity to network with colleagues and celebrate the companies and individuals who have made positive contributions to the home healthcare industry. It also served as a fundraising event. Medtrade producers were pleased to present a check to Atlanta-based Shepherd Center for $5000 to support the care it provides. Shepherd Center is the country's largest catastrophic care hospital specializing in the treatment of people with spinal cord injury and disease, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders and urological problems.
Presented by HME News , the HME Excellence Awards were given in recognition of the top providers of HME, rehab and respiratory and were presented to the following companies:
HomeCare magazine also presented its HomeCaring Awards to individuals for distinguished service to the home medical equipment community. Winners of the 2005 awards are:
Product innovation that addresses patient quality of life and operational solutions for HME providers was clearly the focus of manufacturers' exhibits.
New technologies, such as new portable oxygen delivery modalities, were especially valuable, adds A&D Healthcare's Bowman. "Also, the technology offerings such as affordable scanning solutions were a compelling part of Medtrade 2005. We thank the vendors for putting on a great show," he says.
The New Product Pavilion, sponsored by Home Health Products magazine, showcased many of the newest products offered at the event. Winners of the New Product Pavilion awards, based on attendee votes, include:
"Medtrade 2005 proved to be another successful show for The MED Group," says Dan Smith, vice president of membership for the Lubbock, Tex.-based organization. "The show floor was busy for us, which enabled us to interact with our members on a one-on-one basis as well as educate the industry on the services we provide."
Next year, Medtrade will return to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and will be held Sept. 19 - 21. Medtrade Spring 2006 will take place March 21 - 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas , Nev. For more information, please visit www.medtrade.com or call (800) 933-8735.
VNU Expositions produces more than 50 conferences and trade shows annually for professionals in fields ranging from health care and construction to jewelry and retail merchandising. VNU's expositions and conferences reach thousands of industry leaders each year in collaborative environments designed to inspire, inform and entertain.