Dates & Locations | Presentation Details | Meet the Speakers

Formerly the Fall Seminar Series, the VGM Business Forum brings together top HME leaders to connect you with the information you need to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment. Speakers will present on a variety of topics, including the current legislative climate, how to prepare for proposed rule changes, building and leading a team, and more.

We’ve partnered with a number of state associations in order to bring the VGM Business Forum to a city near you. The current dates and locations are below, with more changes to come. Follow the links to see which sessions will be featured and to register.

2018 Dates & Locations

Date Location In Association With Registration & Information
August 22-23 Wrightsville Beach, NC
Holiday Inn Resort
1706 N. Lumina Ave.
Wrightsville Beach, NC
ACMESA Click here
September 9-11 Savannah, GA
The DeSoto Savannah
15 E. Liberty
Savannah, GA
GAMES Click here
September 13

Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way
Long Beach, CA

CAMPS Click here
September 19 San Antonio, TX
Exact location TBD
TEXMEP Coming soon
September 26-27 Tampa, FL
Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore Airport
Tampa, FL
FAHCS Click here
October 2 Harrisburg, PA
Hilton Garden Inn-Harrisburg
1 N 2nd St.
Harrisburg, PA
VGM Coming soon
October 22-23 Troutdale, OR
2126 SW Halsey St.
Troutdale, OR
PAMES Click here
October 30-31 Oklahoma City, OK
Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center
741 N. Phillips Ave
Oklahoma City, OK
OMEPA Click here
November 6 Springfield, MA
Hilton Garden Inn-Springfield
800 Hall of Fame Ave
Springfield, MA
VGM Coming soon
November 7-8 Tarrytown, NY
Exact location tbd
NEMEP Click here
November 14 Henderson, NV
Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
NAMPS Coming soon
November 20

Waterloo, IA
1111 W. San Marnan Dr.
Waterloo, IA

VGM Coming soon
November 29 Flowood, MS
Table 100
100 Ridge Way
Flowood, MS
MSMAMES Click here

Presentation Details

Below are examples of the types of presentations you can expect to find at the Business Forum.

Interpreting & Preparing for the 2019-2021 Proposed Rule Changes

Presenter: Mark Higley
This proposed rule, released on July 11, 2018, suggests major revisions to the near-term and future Medicare reimbursement climate. A delay in the next bidding program, new interim payment methodologies, and an overhaul to the competitive bid auction processes are all likely. Mark will offer analysis and commentary to assist HME providers in their preparation for these changes.

Current Status of Legislative Activity

Presenter: John Gallagher
This session will provide participants with recent and timely information and government updates explaining what they mean for the HME/DME industry. Topics will include the recently released announcements with the competitive bidding program, Interim Final Rule, as well as the ERSD proposed rule and how these will affect your business. John will also discuss recently released studies that support the industry’s concerns for declining Medicare reimbursement.

Retaining Your Payer Sources in Today’s Competitive Environment

Presenter: Craig Douglas
Contracting with a broad range of payer sources is more necessary today than it has ever been. But it’s also more difficult now than it has ever been. The “any willing provider” mentality has been tossed aside by many payers, and they are narrowing their provider panels from numbers measured in multiples of 100 to panels in multiples of mere tens, or, in some cases, are looking for sole source provider agreements. VGM is dedicated to helping HME providers remain relevant to as many payer sources as possible.

Operations Management – Measures, Metrics, and More

Presenter: Miriam Lieber
Key measures help HME companies monitor operations for financial success. Knowing the impact of 2019’s proposed changes to Medicare’s competitive bidding program on the operation, you will be prepared for the plethora of scenarios you will undoubtedly encounter. These processes include objective and quantifiable goals. By understanding your achievements and areas for improvement, you will flourish in today’s HME market. You will identify ways to hone your HME business, evaluate and explore quantifiable measures for core competence, and discuss automation trends for efficiency and increased productivity.

Leadership Best Practices

Presenter: Miriam Lieber
Flourishing HME companies today have one thing in common: they view leadership and accountability as a priority to effectively run their companies. To ensure success, role modeling and coaching from leaders is essential. Miriam will discuss best practices for ways to engage employees, set goals to improve performance, and create a prosperous environment. You’ll explore illustrative cases on model leadership techniques to maximize employee engagement and productivity.

Perseverance and Persistence: Leadership Qualities That Bring Success

Speaker: Sarah Hanna
Successful companies are those that have a strong leadership team. Great management brings out the best in their staff, thereby improving productivity and retention. This seminar will provide the three pillars of leadership to evoke change within you and help motivate your team toward achievement. With the changes in the HME industry today, leaders are needed to propel your organization into the next dimension of health care.

Building a Team That Will “Walk Through Walls for You”

Presenter: Sarah Hanna
Is your company poised to provide your team the right conditions for them to give their best each day, committed to the organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to the success of your company, and have an enhanced sense of their own well-being? Employee engagement is about positive attitudes and behaviors that lead to improved business outcomes, better employee retention, increased productivity, and a reduction in grievances. This seminar will provide insight and tools that help your team to focus on clear goals, feel trusted and empowered, and make them want to go the extra mile.

The Millennial Workforce: Understanding and Monetizing the Predominant Group in the Labor Force

Presenter: Sarah Hanna
Leveraging a workforce that can bring the best to your company has never been more important than in today’s business environment. Millennials make up the majority of the labor force today, and comprehending their views and needs in the workplace will help you understand the most misunderstood generation. Rather than berating their traits, embrace them. Shifting your paradigm will assist in realizing financial gains within your company.

HME Business Optimization: The “New Normal” for Medical Sales

Presenter: Ty Bello
There is a new normal for medical sales. Long gone are the days of just making sales calls. We must embrace a comprehensive sales and business strategic planning model that incorporates metrics, cadence, data-driven growth, and analytics to optimize growth and the future of our businesses. A sales and business strategic planning model will equip your team and business for predictable growth with focused execution.

Willful Neglect: Two Words That Can Cost You Your Business

Presenter: Kelly Grahovac
If an entity has a compliance issue and it’s determine there was an absent or insufficient compliance program, the supplier may be accused of willful neglect and suffer increased penalties. This presentation will discuss what the government expects suppliers to be doing when it comes to compliance that covers both reimbursement and HIPAA. The presentation will also provide review penalties for non-compliance, while including practical solutions that will reduce your company’s risk.

Audit Update

Presenter: Kelly Grahovac
CMS directives to audit contractors are that they are to be more “provider-friendly.” Recent policy changes and communication with contractors appear that this is a message that is being delivered and received, particularly in the DMEPOS world. Is this a true change in the mindset of CMS? And, if so, how long will it continue? What does it mean for suppliers? Will CMS change their minds when the recovery audit contractors are no longer recouping more than $2 billion per year? There are so many unanswered questions and speculation around this potential change in philosophy. In this presentation, Kelly will share an insider’s perspective on the current audit environment and what to expect moving forward.

Solutions for the HME Supplier: Options & Opportunities

Presenter: Ronda Buhrmester
Operating in a complex HME industry has its challenges starting at the front line (intake), through delivery to the patient, and finally getting reimbursed for services provided all on a timely basis. The process involves the entire HME staff where knowing the guidelines and medical policies that are provided by the payers are understood and also required. It’s important for the company to set policies when margins or coverage criteria aren’t met, making the options known, and helping the staff feel confident when helping a referral source or beneficiary to provide solutions. As HME suppliers, we are the solution, having a variety of options and opportunities available for referrals and beneficiaries in a complicated industry.

Security: Where HIPAA Compliance and Cybersecurity Intersect

Speaker: Carol Albaugh
Carol will be covering a variety of topics including cyber security, HIPAA compliance, and the future of technology. Her extensive background in technology, health care, and security enables her to have a vast understanding of how to protect ePHI from health care data security threats, and she wants to share that information with you!

Meet the Speakers

Mark Higley
Mark Higley

Mark Higley is vice president of Regulatory Affairs at VGM. Mark’s responsibilities include corporate business development, market research, and industry analysis. His projects include analysis of governmental, regulatory, and compliance issues affecting the DMEPOS industry. Key issues include national competitive bidding, accreditation, health care reform, oxygen benefits, and HITECH/HIPAA updates. Mark is a consultant and regular speaker/panelist at HME industry events.

John Gallagher
John Gallagher

John Gallagher is vice president of Government Relations at VGM. He is responsible for advocating on behalf of VGM members/DME providers to Congress, the administration, and federal agencies. He has also amassed thousands of miles traveling across the country to educate both state associations and independent providers on regulatory and government issues. Additionally, he has worked tenaciously to promote upstanding service within the HME industry. He is a board member of both the Healthcare Quality Association for Accreditation (HQAA) and the Fraud Eradication Advisory Team (FEAT).

Craig Douglas
Craig Douglas

Craig Douglas is vice president of Payer and Member Relations for VGM. He focuses on helping providers navigate payer relationships as well as addressing concerns that are impacting VGM’s broad range of members from a payer perspective. He has previously served as vice president of Provider Relations for VGM’s HOMELINK division, where he built and fostered relationships with payers and providers across the country.

Miriam Lieber
Miriam Lieber

Miriam Lieber is a principal consultant for Lieber Consulting LLC. She specializes in operations management and compliance for home care providers. With more than 25 years of experience in the home care field, she is a featured author of many articles in the areas of operations and accounts receivable management, pending regulations, and compliance. She is also a nationally known speaker for many home care trade associations.

Sarah Hanna
Sarah Hanna

Sarah Hanna is the CEO of ECS North and has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry, owning and operating a successful independent HME, respiratory, infusion, and home health company for nine years before focusing on the consulting, training, and speaking responsibilities for ECS North full-time. She is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant on corporate operations, leadership, workflow assessment, and revenue cycle management. She uses her knowledge and experience to conduct training seminars and personal client consultations throughout the U.S. Sarah also provides information on staffing and reporting mechanisms for corporate success, operations and accounts receivable management, pending regulations, and compliance. She is also a nationally known speaker for many home care trade associations.

Ty Bello
Ty Bello

Ty Bello is the president and founder of [email protected] and a registered corporate coach with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. He is a highly sought-after speaker and provides relevant and best-in-class information during his presentations.

Kelly Grahovac
Kelly Grahovac

Kelly Grahovac serves as a senior consultant for The van Halem Group where she focuses on audits, appeals, education and training, and business development. She is a well-known lecturer in the DME industry, speaking at national conferences, state associations, and private events. She has in-depth knowledge in Medicare appeals, policy, and education and training. In addition to her client work at The van Halem Group, Kelly is also a contributor to several industry publications nationally.

Ronda Buhrmester 
Ronda Buhrmester

Ronda Buhrmester has been an associate with VGM since 2012. She specializes in billing and reimbursement. She is a respiratory therapist and a certified mastectomy fitter. Ronda assists VGM/U.S. Rehab members with review of claims and all types of audits. She also educates members on medical policies in the respiratory, face-to-face ruling, and general DME areas. She has presented at the VGM Heartland Conference as well as the Medtrade conferences and state association meetings. She also conducts webinars and on-site education with VGM members.

 Carol Albaugh
Carol Albaugh

Carol Albaugh oversees Secure Technology Solutions, a new VGM solution focusing on technology and cybersecurity concerns for the extensive membership organization throughout the 28 business units of VGM. She has more than 25 years of experience in a variety of positions related to technology and the health care industry. She has held positions as clinical application software analyst and senior team lead for Fortune 500 technology companies. Carol’s extensive background in technology, health care, and security enables her to have a vast understanding of how to protect ePHI from health care data security threats.

 Collin Brecher
Collin Brecher

Collin Brecher has been with VGM Government Relations since 2015. He works to advance legislative, regulatory, and politic efforts in order to improve the home medical equipment industry. Prior to joining VGM, Collin gained experience working in the Iowa legislature and working at the grassroots level for presidential and congressional campaigns.

 Wayne van Halem
Wayne van Halem

Wayne van Halem founded The van Halem Group in 2006. The Atlanta-based firm merged with VGM Group, Inc. in 2014, and Wayne currently serves as its president as they assist providers with navigating complex issues related to audits, appeals, enrollments, and compliance. He is a published author and well-known lecturer. Since 2006, his company has saved suppliers more than $70 million in overpayments and denial recoveries.