We’re Connecting the HME Community – Learn How

Posted on in Disaster Relief

After Hurricane Harvey surged into the Texas coast, it left a plague of floodwaters and destruction. HME providers continue their efforts to ensure patients get the equipment and supplies they need. Thankfully, those in the HME industry have always been there for one another, and it’s no different now.

“It’s heartening to see the outpouring of support from the membership community,” said Clint Geffert, a native Texan and president of VGM & Associates at VGM Group, Inc. “Members are contacting us saying they have 20 cases of this product or 10 cases of that and want to know where they can send them.”

On the ground in Texas, VGM’s regional account manager Bob Rodriguez is fielding these calls personally, putting people who need equipment in touch with those who have it. Anyone, though, who is looking to help or needing help should call the VGM Freedom Link® hotline at 844-416-1411. VGM Freedom Link specializes in arranging medical equipment and supplies for traveling patients and is now making sure those affected by natural disasters get what they need.

Let’s make this an event remembered not only as a devastation but as one of people helping people. “We want to show our love and support for those in need,” said Geffert. “And through our personal relationships and connections throughout the HME industry, we want to help others show their support, too.”

If you can donate equipment, or if you’d like to donate to the American Red Cross on behalf of the VGM membership community, please visit and share the link on social media using #HMEUnited.

In addition to visiting the website, those looking to show their support will also be able to purchase t-shirts featuring the messages “People Helping People” and “#HMEUnited.” All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. 

To get #HMEUnited t-shirts for your office, place your order here.

The need for a connected community of support doesn’t end with Hurricane Harvey, though.

With recovery efforts from Harvey underway, eyes now turn toward Hurricane Irma. It’s devastated the Caribbean and is now making its way to the southeastern United States, particularly Florida. VGM’s regional account manager Pat Aydelott is already helping coordinate efforts and prepare in Florida. Like Rodriguez in Texas, Aydelott is the first phone call for members who need anything.

It’s clear from the stories relayed by Rodriguez and Aydelott that in disasters like these, one constant remains—patients come first. Patients who need oxygen concentrators and supplies, get oxygen concentrators and supplies. In Florida, providers move to a cash-only strategy during disasters to forego rigid requirements for reimbursement, and shelters function as secondary locations for supplies such as oxygen.

Of course, many providers will still seek reimbursements. VGM Government Relations has been advocating for a number of changes that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could institute to ease the burdens patients and providers now face. To see some of the recent changes, click here.

There has been a lot of devastation already, and there is more to prepare for, but VGM reminds everyone that there is strength through community—that we are stronger together. “To everyone in our HME family, remember that we are just that—a family,” Geffert said. “You are already part of a community that has your back.”

Please visit Share your story, and show your support for the community.