The 2017 Spring Medtrade took place at the Las Vegas Mandalay Convention Center February 28 - March 1. While the overall DME attendance seemed smaller than in past years, many exhibitors were extremely pleased at the quality of the attendance and found their booths packed, especially on the opening Tuesday of the Expo.
The pavilion featured some of the most innovative HME products that have been on the market for less than one year. Jon Schultz, sales director for OxyGo® POCs and Applied Companies, reported very high interest in his company’s new OxyGo FIT™ lightweight POC and other oxygen products. “We had two booths for the first time ever and both were extremely well attended. We were very, very pleased. The first day of the show we could have used even more space to field all the inquiries we had,” Schultz said.
When not on the show floor, attendees were able to benefit from multiple educational conference sessions on audits, business operations, competitive bidding,executive education, legal guidelines for operating their businesses, Medicare updates, retail, plus and sales and marketing.
One of the topics most often discussed was the urgent need to aggressively move into the retail market. This is because, as the conference description for a Tuesday afternoon session entitled “Keeping it Legal” so accurately pointed out: “A DME supplier can no longer survive while being dependent on Medicare for fee-for-service…with competitive bidding, stringent documentation requirements, lower reimbursement, post-payment audits, tightening Medicare purse strings—Medicare fee-for-service should only be a component of the supplier’s total income stream. There are 78 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964); they are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and are accustomed to paying for things out-of-pocket. The successful DME will be focused on selling upgrades and selling items for cash.”
One of the best ideas conveyed to DME’s and HME’s interested in increasing retail sales was made at a round table “Power Lunch” sponsored by VGM on how to maximize retail sales. “Put a price tag on everything and on the flip side of that price tag list other products in your store that can go or fit with that product,” suggested one participant. That suggestion was met with sustained applause.
The next Medtrade Expo will be held October 24-26, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Stay tuned for show updates at medtrade.com