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The Changing and Aging Times

Home Blog The Changing and Aging Times

Innovation is a pillar of the human existence. We continue to seek out ways to improve quality of life and functionality.

Modern technologies have undoubtedly made our lives easier. We benefit from smart phones that function as a tiny pocket-sized computer, just as we benefit from advancements in medical equipment that allow us to live independently in the comfort of our homes. Unfortunately, as we continue to move forward in innovations, our access to these luxuries is being threatened.

Think about how much things have changed in your lifetime—or even within the past 20 years!

At the turn of the 21st century, people paid extra to chat with loved ones from their landlines. (Or they waited until after 8 p.m. for their cell phone minutes.) Renting a movie meant driving to the nearest Blockbuster or video store. And, classic staples like Facebook and the iPhone didn’t yet exist.

Health care advancements have come a long way in that time, too.

Respiratory products are becoming smaller and easier for people to use. This provides enhanced freedom and ability to be active. Wheelchairs are evolving into sophisticated seating systems with full-stand, full-recline, and lightweight options. Diabetics no longer have to bleed to check their blood sugar. 

Twice a year, home care companies and manufacturers convene for Medtrade, the nation’s largest education and product tradeshow.

Medtrade Fall is being held in Atlanta this month. There are thousands of products at Medtrade designed to meet the needs of end users. Innovations include lightweight home oxygen therapy systems, comfortable sleep apnea devices, fashionable and functional mobility devices, beautiful seat lift chairs, and everything in between.

At Medtrade, home medical equipment (HME) companies gather to learn about the new products and services to meet their community’s needs. They also learn the latest information to navigate the complex insurance maze and Medicare bureaucracy that makes it harder for individuals to access the medical equipment they need.

10,000 people turn 65 every day in the U.S.

With so many people entering the senior arena, our nation needs home care companies to help people manage their medical needs in the comfort of their homes.

Unfortunately, at the same time that we are witnessing a senior tsunami, we are also losing the framework of the home care companies that can provide these innovative products and services to help our aging population.

More than one in three companies that provide HME, services, and supplies have closed since 2011.

Because of the closure of so many companies, cities and towns across America are struggling to access what they need. Making matters worse, as we discussed in last month’s newsletter, poor Medicare policies are having a dangerous ripple effect that not only impacts Medicare beneficiaries but others with Medicaid, TRICARE, and private insurance through work.

There are more home medical advancements than ever before. But, insurance companies won’t pay enough for folks to get it. At the same time, we’re losing the infrastructure of the companies that can provide it and offer ongoing support.

We need a change starting at the top with Medicare. Otherwise, these innovative and life-enhancing products will remain out of reach for many Americans. Join our advocacy efforts to ensure people have access to HME by clicking here.


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