Exploring Focus at Heartland Conference 2024: What's on the Agenda?

Published in Women's Health on March 20, 2024

Exploring Focus at Heartland Conference 2024: What's on the Agenda?

Every year, the VGM Heartland Conference delivers a one-of-a-kind learning experience with the best education in the DME industry. At Heartland Conference 2024, taking place June 10-12 in Waterloo, IA, attendees can access over 60 sessions and earn up to 15.25 contact hours/CEUs throughout the two-day conference. This year, prepare for unparalleled educational sessions with our diverse array of specialized educational tracks that can help you get insights for your women’s health business, including: 

  • Billing and Reimbursement  
  • Regulatory and Audits  
  • Leadership and People Strategy  
  • Business Operations  
  • Sales, Marketing, and Retail  
  • Specialty Markets, including Women’s Health and Wound Care 

Below is just a sample of sessions at Heartland Conference 2024: 

Heartland Conference Session Preview

Incorporating Lymphedema and Compression Garments into Your Practice

Track: Business Operations, Women’s Health 
Presenter: Matt Gruskin, Chief Operating Officer, Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) 

This session will teach you how to integrate lymphedema management and compression garments into your DMEPOS practice. You will learn about the benefits for your patients and your business, the laws and rules you need to follow, and the best ways to get paid for these products. You will also learn about lymphedema, its causes and effects, and how to help patients who suffer from it. By the end of this session, you will be ready to offer lymphedema and compression therapy to your DMEPOS customers. 

Collection, Reduction, & Waiver of Copayments: Rules to Follow & Traps to Avoid

Track: Billing and Reimbursement   
Presenters: Miriam Lieber, CEO/Owner, Lieber Consulting, LLC and Kim Cuce, Director of Business Optimization, VGM & Associates 

This session will explain the legal risks of reducing or waiving copayments for DME suppliers. It will also show how to do it properly and avoid violating federal laws. The topics include: (i) the anti-kickback statute, the beneficiary inducement statute, and the False Claims Act; (ii) the legal criteria for reducing/waiving copayments; (iii) the procedures for reducing/waiving copayments; (iv) a properly drafted Copayment Reduction/Waiver Policy; and (v) working with charities to help patients. 

Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Patients 

Track: Women's Health, Specialty Track 
Presenter: Matt Howard, Director of Domestic Sales, Therafirm 

20% of patients treated for breast cancer experience lymphedema. In this session, you’ll learn what type of cancer treatment most commonly leads to lymphedema and when it is most likely to develop. Mastectomy fitters will also learn the signs to look for when working with patients. The stages of lymphedema will also be explained, along with education on the best treatments for each stage. 

Making Vision a Reality: Next Level Mastectomy Boutique 

Track: Women's Health, Specialty Track  
Presenter: Beth Erdy, Breast Care Specialist, American Breast Care 

If you were to wave a magic wand and make your mastectomy boutique the most wonderful experience for your patients, what would it look like? Regardless of where you’re starting from - a start-up boutique or a seasoned veteran - this session will walk through the patient experience and provide takeaways for you to create your own ‘next level’ mastectomy boutique. 

Empowering Retailers: Community Engagement Strategies with Events and Marketing

Track: Sales, Marketing, and Retail 
Presenter: Dana Donofree, CEO, ANAONO 

This presentation will provide a special focus on community engagement strategies. The aim is to equip stores with practical insights to foster strong connections with their local communities by empowering their efforts to support, engage, and interact with their customers beyond just retail. In this session, Dana Donofree will share her expertise in community engagement, drawn from her experience in founding and leading AnaOno Intimates. Participants will gain valuable insights into creating meaningful connections with customers, promoting inclusivity, and establishing their stores as community hubs. 

Know Your Data, Save Your Business

Track: Regulatory and Audits 
Presenter: Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group 

Every year, the Presidential Budget invests billions of dollars in funding to the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control program, with an expected triple return on that investment to program integrity functions. HME suppliers face many audits, especially from UPIC, which can have devastating impacts on a business. Program integrity functions also extend to provider enrollment, with revocations and deactivations becoming frequent occurrences. Protecting your business and your bottom-line means learning what can trigger an audit and identifying risk areas in your organization. Kelly will explain how you can utilize your own data to not only prepare for audits, but to protect your business when faced with audits or provider enrollment threats. 

New Managers: Embracing Leadership (Be Who They Need)

Track: Leadership and People Strategy 
Presenter: Mike Isaacson, SVP, Government and Regulatory Relations, VGM & Associates 

“Be Who They Need” is a journey of self-reflection and provides a context to evaluate personal leadership motivation and values. The importance of positive, thoughtful leadership in healthcare has never been more relevant in today’s climate. The daily challenges that leaders face can turn into fatigue and burnout. Maintaining and enhancing employees’ work life starts with a deep dive into everyone's own “leadership capital,” learning to create their own balance so that they can help those they serve and be who they need to be for their people. 

Panel Sessions 

In addition to educational sessions, the Heartland panel discussions offer a unique chance to learn from your peers and industry experts all at the same time. Some of the panel discussion topics include:   

[Panel] Empowered Leadership: Women Driving Excellence in HME 

Track: Leadership & People Strategy 
Presenter: Arienne Martinez, Director of Organizational Development, VGM HOMELINK 

Join this powerful and entertaining panel of female leaders, including 2023 HME Woman of the Year award winner and VGM's top female executives, for their perspectives on leadership. We'll cover everything from work-life balance to exuding confidence in the board room. 


  • Barb Anderson, Chief Financial Officer, VGM Group, Inc. 
  • Christa Miehe, President of Corporate Communications & Events, VGM Group, Inc. 
  • Dana McLaughlin, President, Medical Service Company  
  • Lindy Tentinger, President, VGM & Associates 
  • Sara Laures, Chief People Officer, VGM Group, Inc. 

View the complete agenda for Heartland Conference 2024 at www.vgmheartland.com/agenda. Be sure to register soon and use code EW2024 at checkout!

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