From VGM Community Leaders: What to Expect in 2020

Published in Member Communities on Friday, January 3, 2020

Now that the new year has arrived, we asked our community leaders at VGM what they are looking forward to in 2020 for respiratory/sleep, orthotics and prosthetics, women’s health, wound care, and home modifications. Below are their responses:

Respiratory/Sleep

From Ashley Monroe, Operations Manager of VGM Respiratory

VGM Respiratory looks forward to continuing to offer new tools, resources, and education for our members in 2020. This will include oxygen and ventilation guides, a COPD manual, as well as the launch of our Ventilation University. We are also excited to roll out an end-tidal CO2 program that will help members identify patients for high tech respiratory products. 

Learn more about VGM Respiratory services, education and resources at www.vgm.com/communities/hme/respiratory

Orthotics and Prosthetics

From Todd Eagen, President of OPGA 

As 2020 comes barreling in on us, there are two opportunities OPGA is very excited about that can have an incredibly positive impact on the O&P community at large. The first is OPGA’s new partnership with Vanguard Metrics and Analytics and the Lower Limb Mobility Management Program (L2M2P). This program is just completing a year-long pilot, and we will be rolling it out to the OPGA community in January. For years, the O&P community has discussed collecting outcomes, and we finally have a program that is collecting outcomes data that truly matters to the two most important entities in our practice; our patients and our payers. The L2M2P differentiates itself in that it measures functional mobility as it relates to a patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living in real-world environments, as well as containing measurements regarding mental health and quality of life.

The second opportunity is a chance to finally separate O&P from DME and be considered as the trained ancillary medical professionals that we are. This is one of several clauses that are included in the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act (H.R. 5262). We have a very good chance of getting this bill, and a companion bill from the Senate, through the legislative process and into law, but we need a ground swell of grassroots efforts from the entire O&P community. I highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with this bill and contact your congressional representatives to express your support.

Learn more about OPGA at opga.com.

Women’s Health 

From Nicole Jensen, Vice President of Essentially Women

Essentially Women is eager to kick off 2020 with the Focus Conference in Tampa, FL, Feb. 8-10. The Focus Conference is open to members of Essentially Women, VGM & Associates, OPGA, and U.S. Rehab.  Whether you’re new to women’s health or a seasoned veteran of the industry, Focus: The EW Conference is the resource you’re looking for—unrivaled networking opportunities, first-class education and time with top industry vendors in the exhibit hall. Visit focus.essentiallywomen.com for details.     

Looking forward to 2020, we are hopeful to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act to allow women the option to choose custom breast prostheses after mastectomy surgery. Every woman who has had a mastectomy deserves the opportunity to choose the option that meets her individual needs, whether that be off-the-shelf breast prostheses, custom breast prostheses, surgical reconstruction or to decide to go flat. In order to pass this legislation, we still need people in every state to reach out to their legislators and ask for support of House bill, H.R. 1370, and Senate bill, S. 562. Grassroots advocacy is what passes legislation! 

We are also optimistic regarding the Lymphedema Treatment Act passing in 2020. In December 2019, the House passed H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The Lymphedema Treatment Act was included in that bill prior to going to the floor for a vote. We are optimistic the House and Senate can agree on language and a package that will include the Lymphedema Treatment Act. After 10 years of tireless advocacy work, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel to allow patients with lymphedema to have compression garments covered by Medicare.  

Learn more about Essentially Women at essentiallywomen.com.

Wound Care

From Heather Trumm, Director of VGM Wound Care 

All the buzz in healthcare is the new Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) that went into effect for home health services on Jan. 1, 2020, after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule in November. The intent of PDGM is to better align reimbursement with patient needs.

These updates are the biggest changes the home health care industry has seen to the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) in 20 years. Payment under PDGM will rely more heavily on patient-centered characteristics (i.e., primary and secondary diagnoses and functional impairments) to drive the payment categories. Therefore, accurate documentation of the patient’s diagnoses and OASIS assessment elements are essential beginning steps for appropriate care planning that directs the path for the interdisciplinary home health team.

As the shift to value-based care evolves, demand for healthcare services will continue to increase for all post-acute care providers. In the next 10 years, the 65+ population will grow by 36 million people. Additionally, the medical complexity of the senior population will expand, and 65 percent of that population will have at least two chronic conditions. The pressure on the healthcare system is not just a problem of growing demand; the supply of professional and paraprofessional caregivers will not keep pace with the demand for services. Post-acute care providers are at an inflection point that will require leaders to innovate and evolve. To thrive under value-based care initiatives, leaders across the healthcare continuum must evolve their organizations and better position themselves to deliver efficient, high-quality care while also maintaining their focus on patient/family and caregiver/staff satisfaction.

Learn more about VGM Wound Care at https://www.vgm.com/communities/hme/wound-care/.

Home Modifications

From Jim Greatorex, Vice President of VGM Live at Home

2020 will be a pivotal year for the Home Accessibility industry. Awareness of the Home Accessibility industry is growing rapidly, particularly in the aging in place market, and many companies are starting to position themselves to build market share. VGM Live at Home is excited for 2020 as we introduce and build our Select Member program that is geared toward promoting our network of companies toward National Groups that service the over-65 market. The next five years promises high growth and lots of entrepreneurial opportunities. We look forward to working with our dedicated members to help capture the potential market share this opportunity brings and, along the way, provide a meaningful, needed service that our communities and elder loved ones need!

Learn more about Live at Home at vgmliveathome.com.


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