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

Published in Complex Rehab on March 20, 2024

Exploring 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 featuring complex rehab technology (CRT)! 

Below is just a sample of sessions for Heartland 2024 in the complex rehab technology track: 

Heartland Session Preview

Wheelchair Repairs: The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

Presenter: Dan Fedor, Director of Reimbursement, U.S. Rehab 

Wheelchair repairs have been a hot issue over the past few years with a "Right to Repair" movement gaining some traction due to delays in the ability to have a wheelchair repaired. In this session, you will learn some of the factors that have contributed to this issue and how to position your company to ensure repairs are accurate, timely, and profitable. The session will address tech and billing education, replacement during the five-year reasonable useful life, and billing for maintenance and repairs (parts and labor). 

Augmentative and Alternate Communication (AAC) for the ATP 

Presenter: Andrea Van Hook, Executive Director, RESNA 

Many people work in multidisciplinary teams. Many clients work with team members with varied skills and tools to share. When considering what is needed to be an effective ATP, we know a generalized knowledge of ALL AT is best. What lies in YOUR scope of practice? What are your special skills? We cannot know it all, but this session will help you to better understand concepts surrounding Augmentative and Alternate Communication (AAC) and effective feature matching. 

Elevate Your Clients with Seat Elevation (for Medicare & Medicare Part C Plans) 

Presenters: Dan Fedor, Director of Reimbursement, U.S. Rehab; Wayne Grau, Executive Director, NCART; Bret Tracy, Vice President of Sales, Merits/Avid Rehab 

Seat elevation became a covered benefit on May 16, 2023, and since then there have been several clarifications and updates. But none as big as the one that was announced in Spring 2024 including new codes, allowables, and documentation requirements. In this session, attendees will learn all the updated information including proper base code selection, upgraded electronics, retrofitting documentation, and billing for this life-changing accessory. We will also discuss how to address Part C plans that won't recognize coverage for seat elevation. 

What Factors Really Affect the Efficiency of a Manual Wheelchair 

Presenter: Amanda Storey, Director of Education, Ki Mobility, by Etac 

There are many firmly held opinions about what factors most dramatically affect manual wheelchair propulsion efficiency. Which factors have the greatest impact and are most important to consider? Is it the weight of the chair? Is it the component selection? Like an automobile, is it the way it is tuned or set up that optimizes efficiency? Prescribing professionals must understand how people use their manual wheelchairs. They must also understand how wheelchairs actually work as a machine. Armed with this knowledge, the professional can make appropriate decisions to optimize efficiency while meeting the user's needs for support, stability, and function. This presentation will discuss factors commonly considered to be predictors of manual wheelchair propulsion efficiency. We will compare these factors in light of what current research suggests as being predictive and then provide some applicable conclusions to inform clinical practice. 

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] The FINE Line Between the ATP Assessment & the Specialty LCMP Eval 

Presenter: Kyle Walker, Vice President of Rehab, Reliable Medical 

Medicare and other insurances that follow Medicare require a specialty wheelchair evaluation to be performed by an LCMP (usually a PT or OT) and an ATP assessment for complex rehab wheelchairs (K0835-K0864, K0005, and E1161). The LCMP may not have a financial relationship with the wheelchair supplier and the wheelchair supplier must employ the ATP. So, where is the line of what each is expected and compliant to document including telehealth? The Medicare contractors, as well as APTA and AOTA, have weighed in and put the line in the sand. In this session, Kyle Walker, Vice President of Rehab at Reliable Medical, will engage with a panel of speakers to discuss the FINE Line from various perspectives and outline the ethical and legal implications if it is crossed. 


  • Carmen DiGiovine, President at RESNA 
  • Cindi Petito, Business Owner at CHAS Consulting 
  • Dan Fedor, Director of Reimbursement at U.S. Rehab 
  • Wayne Grau, Executive Director at NCART 

View the complete agenda for Heartland Conference 2024 at www.vgmheartland.com/agenda. Be sure to register before the early bird pricing ends April 12. 

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