Heartland Conference 2023: Session Sneak Peek

Published in Complex Rehab on March 15, 2023


Every year, the VGM Heartland Conference delivers a one-of-a-kind learning experience with the best education in the DMEPOS industry. At Heartland Conference 2023, which takes place June 12-14 in Waterloo, IA, attendees can access over 60 sessions and earn up to 15.75 contact hours (CEUs) throughout the two-day conference. These sessions are offered through an array of educational tracks, including: 

  • Billing and reimbursement 
  • Sales, marketing, and retail   
  • Respiratory 
  • Business operations 
  • Rehab 
  • Regulatory and audits 
  • Business leadership and people strategy 
  • Specialty markets 

Below is just a sample of what sessions are in store for Heartland 2023: 

Heartland Session Preview

[Pre-Conference] Augmenting Comprehensive Respiratory Care with HFCWO
Track: Respiratory
Speakers: Daniel Carlson Daniel Carlson, MS, MBA, Director of Marketing, Tactile Medical - AffloVest
John Peterson, Director of Business Development and Respiratory Sales, Tactile Medical
Bobby Lankford, Director of Sales- West, Tactile Medical

This short course provides a generalized overview for respiratory HMEs to identify how to incorporate HFCWO within their comprehensive respiratory care strategy.

Improving Retention During a Time of Employee Burnout and Mental Health Crisis 
Track: Business Leadership & People Strategy
Speaker: Jared Eardley, MBE, RRT, Director of Education and Communication, Norco, Inc.

Perhaps more than ever before, the reality of employee burnout and other mental health challenges has never been more common. How do you address an employee's needs without sacrificing the ability to get the job done? How legitimate are accommodation requests and what potential solutions are other companies pursuing? Come for an open dialog on how to approach this situation in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Wheelchair Repairs: Time MUST be on Your Side
Track: Rehab
Speakers: Dan Fedor, Director of Reimbursement, U.S. Rehab
Bret Tracy, Director of Sales, Merits/Avid Rehab

A good wheelchair supplier repairs the products they provide. Recently, this has become more challenging with the cost of repairs increasing including parts, labor, and fuel. Unfortunately, the payment rates from insurance companies have not increased proportionally. So what can a supplier do to maximize reimbursement for repairs? One way is to maintain a very efficient documentation process and reduce the time it takes to perform the repair. ALERT - There has been a change in 2023 to what is acceptable for continued need for wheelchair repairs and it's good news! In this session, learn how to ensure you are in compliance with this Jan. 2023 change.

The Patient's Financial Experience: How Technology and Automation Matter
Track: Billing & Reimbursement
Speakers: Jennifer Leon, Vice President, Patient Collections, Brightree
Miriam Lieber, President, Lieber Consulting

As the patient portion of collections continues to climb to the top of open A/R and HME companies continue to combat staffing shortages, technology has become even more essential in addressing low collection rates and lack of labor resources. Providers do not have the time nor the staff to spend countless hours chasing patient responsibility when the entire financial patient experience and responsibility can be automated. The need to create a positive patient perception is more important than ever. Giving patients access and transparency through software and technology is the only solution. In this session, there will be discussion about how to facilitate a patient’s digital payment experience, as well as share how the market has evolved to enable swifter collections and the methods of communication that your patients desire. There will also be numerous stories from your colleagues on how they approach this sensitive matter as a part of this interactive session.

RTs in the Home: Decreasing Penalties, Improving Revenue, Outcomes, & Lives
Track: Respiratory
Speakers: Kelly Long, RRT, CCT, LMT, RYT-500, C-IAYT, Respiratory Navigator, Program Manager, McLaren Lapeer
Brian Wicker, RRT, NPS Director of Respiratory, Sleep, Wound, Cardiac, Pulmonary Rehab Services & Hyperbaric, McLaren Lapeer Region

This session will discuss a 4-year study looking at the impact of placing a respiratory therapist in the post-acute setting of the home to decrease hospital readmissions while adding value to the institutions, physician practices, and payors. This program will give light on redefining and expanding our roles and the importance in the post-acute arena.

Audit Climate: What You Need to Know
Track: Regulatory & Audits
Speakers: Wayne van Halem, CFE, AHFI, President, The van Halem Group
Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group

Things are heating up when it comes to audits. We know it is not your favorite subject, but this presentation will provide a solid foundation of what you need to know as far as audits are concerned. We will provide an overview of what oversight entities and payers are currently focused on as well as a look into what we might expect in the second half of the year. Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your business from audit recoupments and denials.

SWOT: Where We Are, Where We’re Headed, and What We Might Want to Change
Track: Business Operations
Speaker: Alan Morris, Director of Research and Strategy, VGM & Associates

In this presentation, we’ll discuss the current state of the industry including what’s going for us and what we have working against us. We’ll also discuss what’s on the horizon, including opportunities for growth and realignment in the healthcare ecosystem as well as what hurdles we might face moving forward.

Blur the Lines Between Online and Offline HME Business
Track: Sales, Marketing, & Retail
Speaker: Lindy Tentinger, President, VGM Forbin

Your HME business is so much larger than just your showroom and offices. Your patients and customers start their journeys long before they ever step into your store. Representatives and customer support staff may be working from across town – or even across the country. Products, files, presentations, and more are constantly coming and going. Lindy Tentinger will help you get all of these different faces of your HME business pointed toward the same goals and working better together.

The CGM Market and Reimbursement
Track: Specialty Markets
Speakers: Ronda Buhrmester, Sr. Director of Payer Relations and Reimbursement, VGM & Associates
Collin Donoghue, Vice President/General Manager, ABCO Medical Supply
Craig Douglas, VP of Payer and Member Relations, VGM & Associates
GEMCO Medical

The CGM market is expanding as technology advances and the products are becoming familiar to everyone. Because of the newness of CGMs, gathering documentation and preparing claims for submission can be tricky. During this session both Collin and Ronda will review the reimbursement landscape. In addition, there will be discussion on capturing the market with your referrals, important terminology, and strategies on retaining patients.

View the complete agenda for Heartland Conference 2023 at www.vgmheartland.com/agenda. We hope to see you there!

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