A Team Approach

Providers starting a women's health business can tap into a variety of resources to help grow their businesses.

Team ApproachOne of the keys to a successful women’s health business as part of your overall HME business strategy is having business partners that can help you meet your objectives. From an organization that focuses solely on women’s issues to vendors and consultants with particular women’s health expertise, here are some potential partners that specialize in women’s health. We invite you to reach out to these experts to help you excel in this important, growing market segment.

Expert Advice on everything you need to know about providing women’s healthcare:

Essentially Women
Founded in 1996, Essentially Women started as a group of nine companies specializing in proving healthcare products and services to women. Today, it’s a member services organization that provides a venue for businesses to learn how to cut costs, remain profitable, expand their base of operation, realize new products, operate more efficiently and access continuing education and enhanced communication. Since its inception, Essentially Women has grown from 60 to 700 members with more than 900 locations.
(800) 988-4484


American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC)
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC) is a credentialing board for the orthotics and prosthetics profession and has more than 14,000 certified individuals and over 6,000 accredited facilities. ABC’s orthotic and mastectomy fitter certification prepares individuals for direct patient care. ABC’s facility accreditation program is recognized by the CMS, Veteran’s Administration, major healthcare insurance providers and HMOs throughout the United States as a leader in orthotics and prosthetics accreditation.
(703) 836-7114

Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC)
Founded in 1984, the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to meeting the demands for quality patient care by offering credentials for professional suppliers of comprehensive orthotic and prosthetic care and durable medial equipment services. BOC offers a Mastectomy Fitter Certification. Trained and certified mastectomy fitters are integral to the physical and emotional well-being of patients. BOC Mastectomy Fitter (CMF) certification assures the public of an enhanced commitment to patient care and compliance. Essentially Women members save 10% on Mastectomy Fitter certification.
(877) 776-2200


American Breast Care
American Breast Care (ABC) offers bras, breast forms, accessories and CEU opportunities. You will find mastectomy fitter education, including live and online courses. ABC University courses are recognized by The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC), The National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) and The Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC).
(866) 830-1990

With a primary focus on breastfeeding, Medela helps mothers to successfully breastfeed their babies. They offer a variety of breastfeeding products, such as breast pumps, breast milk storage and feeding, authentic spare parts and breast care accessories, including pads, shields and shells. Medela offers educational information, such as an app for successful breastfeeding and online breastfeeding courses.
(800) 435-8316

Preggers by Therafirm
Preggers by Therafirm is a line of maternity support hose and compression products. The garments are light compression that are made for everyday wear, even during pregnancy. Preggers are fashionable and made with graduated compression, which helps energize tired, achy legs and helps reduce swelling. Garment types include leggings, tights and support bands.
(800) 821-3094

Gemtress offers women’s hair replacement products, including handmade wigs, top-of-the head augmentation systems for localized hair loss and pullthrough hair enhancements to help with thinning hair. Gemtress offers various collections for a number of options to suit personal lifestyle and fashion needs. In addition to their human Remi hair selections, they carry synthetic designs, which are well received by the budget-conscious consumer.
(800) 554-2525

JoViPak manufactures products used to treat acute and chronic edema and related venous insufficiency. Products include compression garments, liners, and pads. JoViPak provides both ready made and custom garments, depending on patient need. Their classic garment provides 12-14 mmHg of compression. When worn with the JoViJacket, it can provide up to 21-22mmHg of compression. Their Combi and Inna garments are for day use and provide approximately 30-31 mmHg of compression.
(866) 888-5684


National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC)
NBCC, with a mission to end breast cancer, has helped lead the fight against the deadly disease, claiming its advocacy has resulted in over $2.89 billion of new federal dollars for breast cancer research. The organization created the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, with the goal to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. NBCC’s membership includes more than 600 member organizations and 60,000 individuals.

Lymphedema Treatment Act
The Lymphedema Treatment Act is a federal bill (HR 1608 and S 2373) that aims to improve insurance coverage for the medically necessary, doctorprescribed compression supplies that are the cornerstone of lymphedema treatment. Currently, Medicare, and many other policies, do not cover one of the critical components of lymphedema treatment — the medically necessary doctor-prescribed compression supplies used daily in lymphedema treatment. Visit the site to download an information packet created to persuade members of Congress to vote for the bill.


Maria Markusen
Maria Markusen is the Director of Operations and Development for VGM & Associates. Her responsibilities include managing day-to-day operations and strategizing retail solutions for members. Before joining VGM, Markusen was Co-Founder of Simply Shops and COO of Simply Retail, providing outsource retail solutions and retail consulting for hundreds of hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Prior to her career in healthcare retail, Markusen was VP of Sales, President and CFO of multiple national long-term care companies, serving the healthcare industry and the nation’s seniors.
(402) 670-2321

Sarah Hanna
Sarah Hanna is the President of ECS Billing & Consulting North. With over 20 years of experience she is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant on revenue cycle management, corporate operation and workflow assessment. By helping companies across the United States, she has received national acclaim in the healthcare industry. Sarah has conducted countless training seminars and personal client consultations on proper billing protocols, operational efficiencies and workflow, revenue cycle management, and reporting mechanisms for corporate success.
(419) 448-5332

Kelly Grahovac, MBA
Kelly Grahovac serves as a Senior Consultant for The van Halem Group, where she focuses on audits, appeals, education and training across multiple lines of business and various specialties. Kelly has nearly 10 years of experience at one of the nation’s leading Medicare contractors, where she worked for the Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier (DMERC), Qualified Independent Contractor (QIC), and A/B Medicare administrative contractor (MAC). Her most recent role with Medicare was working as a senior provider relations representative with the A/B MAC, where she developed and delivered training courses to hospitals and physician office staff, medical billers, medical societies and state associations. Kelly has in-depth knowledge in Medicare appeals, policy and education, and training.
(404) 343-1815

Christina Throndson
Christina Throndson, Web Marketing Director, oversees all content produced by VGM Forbin for websites, social media and online advertising. Christina joined VGM in 2004. Christina is Google AdWords certified, is a certified Yahoo Ambassador and is professionally trained in both New Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing. These focuses allow her to analyze customer websites and provide ideas and solutions to drive additional traffic to their sites for increased revenues. Christina presents often to the HME industry on the ever-changing market of social media and search engine marketing and optimization.
(877) 814-7485

Douglas Stallbaumer
Douglas Stallbaumer is partner and co-founder of Argosy Group, Inc. Douglas has extensive organizational, operational, financial and regulatory experience and knowledge in the HME industry, with a particular focus on HME and hospice care. Douglas has worked with both large international firms and local providers in providing information on the industry, managing processes and helping them understand the benefits and risks of various business models. He has developed operational programs that have become a solid foundation for profitability and growth and have been proven to be success models. His knowledge base makes him uniquely qualified to provide guidance on a range of HME and hospice topics and assist providers to become quality driven organizations.
(785) 783-8480

Jim Hewlett
Jim is an expert in the DMEAPOS industry and a consultant for Consultants PRN. He is a Board Certified Orthotist, certified by both the ABC (American Board for Certification) and the BOC (Board of Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification). Jim has owned and operated an HME, a wholesale oxygen company, and his own practice in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Jim was a director and past president of a multi-location, independent, Healthcare organization for more than 10 years. His responsibilities included facility accreditation, continuing education, HIPAA and compliance. Jim has stayed in touch with the industry as an associate member of AOPA (American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists), OPGA (Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America) and has served as an item writer on the committee with the BOC developing their Orthotist Certification exams. He is an on-site surveyor for the BOC and has completed the CLEAR-NCIT and BOC training for Accreditation On-Site surveying. Jim has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors with BOC from 2014 to 2015.
(530) 229-0337For

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of HME Business.

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