Join us at Medtrade Fall 2017. October 23-25, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia

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VGM Member Medtrade Discounts

Code: VGMMTE - Free Expo for VGM members

Code: VGMMTC - $20 conference discount for VGM members

Code: VGMSAVE50 - $50 off any pre-conference workshop


VGM Events

The Audit "Happy" Hour

Monday, Oct. 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.C201

Sponsored by: Medforce Technologies, Mediware Information Systems, Pride and The van Halem Group
There’s not much happiness when it comes to audits - unless you’re figuring out how to navigate them. We’re making it fun by giving you that opportunity, and a chance to meet with experts at a relaxed networking reception. So grab a glass of wine or beer (audits do drive us to drink, right?!), and meet with audit experts at this unique Q&A and networking opportunity. Registration fee varies with time of registration (save by registering early!), advance registration required.

HME Woman of the Year Announcement

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 8-9:45 a.m. | C101 Auditorium

VGM Group’s presentation of the 2017 HME Woman of the Year award to an individual whose strong sense of purpose and commitment to values transforms quality health care from a priority to a passion, and helps inspire others in our industry. This year, 38 outstanding women have been nominated to be recognized for their significant accomplishments and contributions to the HME industry. Join us as we celebrate the achievements of the finalists and winner of this year’s award.

HME Young Professionals (YP) Meetup

Tuesday, Oct. 24, Noon-1 p.m. |  Room C108 (VGM Meeting Room)
Register by Oct. 17 to reserve your spot! 

Women and Wine - Medtrade Edition

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 4-5 p.m. | C106

Join VGM for a great networking opportunity and an interactive panel discussion with the top women in HME today. Finalists for the HME Woman of the Year award will share their insights, perspectives, and tips for succeeding as a female in the HME industry. These women have been nominated by their peers for their ability to rise to the top, lead diverse teams to success, contribute in a meaningful way in their communities and share their knowledge and resources with others.

This fun session will feature peer interaction and discussion in a casual atmosphere. All attendees will receive a free gift along with tactical tips for females in the workplace. And of course, there will be wine.

VGM Member/Vendor Block Party

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 6:30-11:30 p.m. | World of Coca-Cola

VGM-sponsored Power Lunch

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Real food for thought! Fuel up on lunch and information crucial to making your business survive and thrive. Fill your plate with a quick lunch and head to your pre-selected table where the moderator will kick-off your roundtable group discussion. Learn from experts, hear from your peers, and take back solutions to your office. Seats fill up quickly; register early! Registration fees vary with time of registration; advance registration required.

Moderator: Scott Owen, VP National Sales VGM and Associates

There will be a table for each of the following topics. You must select one table to attend when registering and remain at that table during the event. 

  1. Audits: Any Questions?
  2. Billing Non-assigned
  3. Retail: If Your Customers Were Honest
  4. Managed Care
  5. Home Accessibility: The Longevity Revolution
  6. Leadership: It’s Kind of a Big Deal
  7. Using Data: Data to Dollars
  8. Social Media/Web Marketing: Toot Your Own Horn


Breaking Bad 2017 Reimbursement Seminar

Monday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sponsored by: VGM and The vanHalem Group
Dan Fedor, Compliance Director, and Ronda Buhrmester, Reimbursement Specialist, VGM

Let us help you break those bad reimbursement habits. In this course, Ronda Buhrmester and Dan Fedor will conduct a reimbursement analysis of the most common misconceptions about documentation and billing (codes and modifiers) that have become habit due to the lack of clear guidance from Medicare. This lack of guidance has resulted in internal habits that are not always correct. Let's not just continue doing something because "that is how it's always been done." Ronda and Dan will ensure you have the most updated, accurate information, which will enable you to do what is required in the most efficient manner AND earn 0.5 CEUs.

Educational Sessions

Assess Your Compliance Program in Real Time

Monday, Oct. 23, 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
Wayne van Halem, President, The van Halem Group

The government is getting serious about compliance. In early 2017, within just weeks of each other, the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General issued separate documents that providers may use to design, implement, evaluate and improve their compliance programs. The OIG expanded their exclusion authority and the DOJ hired counsel to assist in evaluating provider's compliance programs. However, many suppliers are still confused when it comes to compliance. What does "compliance" mean? What am I required to do? How much should I spend? These are the types of questions that will be answered in this presentation. While some suppliers think they have a comprehensive compliance program, it really isn't effective. On the flip side, some suppliers may be going overboard on changes that they implemented and it ends up causing backlogged work and inefficiencies. This presentation will discuss best practices and practical solutions when it comes to an effective compliance program but most importantly, audience members will interact by completing a compliance assessment in real time during the presentation and then discussing the outcomes. Come to this session and undergo a comprehensive compliance assessment without the expense of one!

Innovative HME Retail Product Awards

Monday, Oct. 23, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Sponsored by: HomeCare Magazine
Speaker: Jim Greatorex, Vice President, AHIA

We have increased the competitive nature of this session with the Medtrade audience voting for the top three innovative retail products. Medtrade judges will pick the top eight entries to be presented, and attendees and judges will then vote for the top three products. You be the judge and come see the year’s best and innovative products.

HME in 2018 and Beyond: Facts, Trends, Forecasts & Commentary

Tuesday, October 24, 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Panelists: Mark Higley, VP, Regulatory Affairs, VGM; Cara Bachenheimer, Sr. VP, Government Relations, Invacare Corp.; Jeff Baird, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato, P.C.; Kim Brummett, VP, Regulatory Affairs, AAHomecare

Demographics and new market potentials remain strong, but the number of active HME businesses have been reduced by more than 40 percent since the competitive bidding program began. While the industry continues to retool and retrain to deal with the challenges providers are facing from every direction, significant uncertainty remains. This expert panel will offer their analysis, update, and commentary relative to where we are likely headed in 2018 and beyond.

What’s Going on With All These Respiratory Audits & Compliance?

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2:15 3:45 p.m.
Speakers: Kelly Grahovac, Senior Consultant, The van Halem Grouip, and Ronda Buhrmester, Reimbursement Specialist, VGM

Over the last year, suppliers billing respiratory products to Medicare have found themselves facing audits and compliance from multiple entities. In this session we’ll discuss the major audit issues facing respiratory products and discuss best practices for not only passing an audit but avoiding it all together!

Incremental Product: The First Step in Transitioning Your Product Assortment to Retail

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
Speakers: Rob Baumhover, Director of Retail, VGM, and Maria Markusen, Director of Development, VGM Retail

What is your best selling product? Is it CPAP machines, hospital beds, power mobility, or any other reimbursable products? What products are you selling to each customer in addition to that reimbursable anchor product? If you’re not selling add-on products for cash, you’re missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in additional revenue. Join us to learn how the first steps in transitioning into retail through incremental product.

Audits & Compliance: He Said/She Said “Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?”

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 4 – 5 p.m.
Speakers: Wayne van Halem, President, The van Halem Group, and Kelly Grahovac, Senior Consultant, The van Halem Group

CMS directives to audit contractors are that they are to be more "provider friendly" in their own words. 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, or is it the fact that DMEPOS claims make up 51 percent of the ALJ backlog and that is forcing CMS to ease the burden on suppliers in an effort to reduce that backlog? How long will this continue and what does it mean for suppliers? Will CMS change their minds when the recovery audit contractors are no longer recouping over $2 billion per year? So many unanswered questions and speculation around this potential change in philosophy. This presentation, delivered by well-known industry audit experts (and frequent antagonists) Wayne van Halem and Kelly Grahovac, will discuss the policy changes that can be viewed as "provider-friendly" while also providing real world implications and potential hidden meanings. We will share an insider's perspective on this important topic in a fun, light-hearted, and interactive presentation. We'll let you decide who's who, but the attendees will get both the optimistic and the pessimistic take on the current audit environment and what we can expect moving forward.

Leads of Steel: Your Daily Five-Minute Web Marketing Routine

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 4 – 5 p.m.
Speaker: Christina Throndson, Director of Business Development, VGM Forbin

Are you feeling the pinch on time and money? Join the club! As an HME provider today, it can be just as hard to find time as it is to find a healthy budget when marketing your business. This is why we're giving you the steps to market your business quickly and affordably each day with a quick return on new business. During this presentation, Christina Throndson will highlight web marketing tools that, if used for just five minutes each morning, can earn you new customers by the afternoon!

Aging in Place: The Longevity Revolution! The Future is so Bright You Need to Wear Shades

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 4 – 5 p.m.
Moderator: Jim Greatorex, Vice President, AHIA Panelists: Joe Hayden, Dealer Sales Manager, Bestbath; Todd Bick, Sr. Director of Sales, Harmar; Vincent Pelose

We will hear from two great manufactures and two successful aging in place home modification providers about the bright future in store for this evolving industry. Demographics, an advantageous bill before Congress, and new technology are flowing into this niche category. Bring your sunglasses because it will be very bright for those who play this market correctly.

Aggressively Moving into the Retail Market

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 9-10:30 a.m.
Panelists: Clint Geffert, President, VGM & Associates; Jeff Baird, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato, P.C.; Karen Atkins, Mobility First; Scott Meuser, Pride Mobility Products; Tim Rutti, President, Valley Medical Specialists; Tom Ryan, President, AAHomecare

With competitive bidding, aggressive audits, and the fact that Medicare is tightening its purse strings, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the DME supplier to base its business model entirely (or even mostly) on Medicare fee-for-service. Innovative suppliers need to distance themselves from Medicare fee-for-service and aggressively move into the retail market. In short, suppliers need to sell items (whether or not covered by Medicare) for cash. There are 78 million baby boomers who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day. Boomers understand that they will have to pay for a portion of their health care out-of-pocket. And from a boomer’s standpoint, the most important asset they have is time. The boomer is willing to pay cash so that they can avoid having to sit in the doctor’s office and wait around for Medicare approval. The boomer expects to have an active lifestyle (triathlons and Rolling Stones concerts) and, therefore, is willing to pay cash for the “Cadillac” product rather than having to settle for the “Cavalier” product. This interactive program, comprised of industry leaders, will discuss the multiple ways that suppliers can operate in the retail (cash) market. Equally as important, the program will discuss the legal parameters that suppliers must follow as they engage in this growing market.

Competing Compliantly

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 10:30 – 11:30 am.
Speakers: Dan Fedor, Compliance Director, VGM, and Ronda Buhrmester, Reimbursement Specialist, VGM

Throughout the day with a DME supplier, there are conversations that occur about following medical policies and regulations while still meeting the patient’s needs. The conversations are usually surrounding, “I think I have the requirements met, but is there enough information?” Or even, “What do I need to be compliant but still provide the patient with this product?” Some may call it walking the line, meaning not being fraudulent by any means, but following the requirements just enough to get by.

Cybersecurity: Is Your HME at Risk?

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Speaker: Jeremy Kauten, CIO & Sr. VP, Information Technology, VGM

This session will give attendees a realistic perspective of the criminal lurking within your business from half a world away - trying to steal your private business and patient information. Learn from other people's mistakes before your business becomes the next victim. The FBI reports that the stealing of health care records is the Holy Grail for hackers and offering a huge payday. There is valuable data within the information you store on your patient's, including Social Security Numbers, credit cards, DOB, insurance account numbers, and up-to-date contact information. The underground cyber shopping mall is making millions of dollars from stolen patient data.

How New Accessibility Laws Threaten Your HME Business

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: Rob Duryea, President, VGM Forbin

In today’s digital world, your website must be easily accessible for everyone AND locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Right now, many businesses are struggling with new website accessibility laws. During this presentation, Rob Duryea will highlight the importance of accessibility in the digital age and how to provide a safe, inclusive experience for ALL of your online visitors.

How to Win a VA-Government Contract

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: John Gallagher, VP, Government Relations, VGM

In this presentation, you will learn the best way for a small business to grow the federal government as a customer. Unfortunately, many small businesses find it difficult to get a foot in the door. Many government agency buying practices--including contract bundling and the failure to go to outside established vendor networks--make it difficult for small businesses to bid on and win federal contracts. During this presentation, you will learn about VA acquisition purposes; veteran and small businesses must be independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which they are bidding on government contracts, and otherwise qualify as small businesses under the criteria and size standards developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Realistic Retail Growth Strategies from the Trenches

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Moderator: Anna McDevitt, CEO/President, Labtactical Consulting Panelists: Jim Greatorex, Vice President, AHIA; Bill Adkins, Vice President, Mobility First Inc.; John Skoro, Managing Partner, XMED Oxygen & Medical Equipment

Join this distinguished panel as they share their experience in growing a retail presence in their market. There will be sharing of strategies that can be used to increase retail walk-in business and generate more cash revenue with or without a prime retail location. Be prepared to ask this panel the tough “how to” questions in this interactive discussion moderated by industry marketing expert Anna McDevitt.

Hot Button Business and Regulatory Challenges Facing HME Suppliers

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Panelists: Wayne van Halem, President, The van Halem Group; Mary Ellen Conway, Chief Compliance Officer, US Med; Denise Leard, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato, P.C.

HME suppliers seem to be always caught in a "perfect storm" of business and regulatory changes. This program will discuss the hot button business and regulatory challenges that HME suppliers face, which includes increased aggressiveness of CMS contractors, such as ZPICs; preparing for and responding to pre-payment and post-payment audits and compliance; the PMD demonstration project expansion; and obtaining and retaining necessary documentation. By understanding these challenges and formulating ways to solve them, as well as learning best practices through an interactive discussion with your peers, you will be better have the tools necessary to succeed in the months and years ahead.