Providers Hit VGM Heartland

The 18th edition of the annual event saw a major change and offered some new educational features, while offering attendees some familiar faves, as well.

Once again, The VGM Group hosted its 18th annual Heartland Conference this week from June 10-12 at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa.  

Notably, for the first time, VGM decided to allow non-members to attend the annual conference and expo to help educate them on Round 2021 of competitive bidding. To that end, non-member attendees were required to attend the pre-conference session, Interpreting & Preparing for Competitive Bidding Round 2021, which ran the morning of June 10, which was presented by Mark Higley, VGM vice president of Regulatory Affairs, along with other VGM and industry experts will present the session.

“VGM believes in supporting the dedicated stakeholders serving the HME industry,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “Due to the changes in competitive bidding, VGM will carry the torch to support all HME providers whether they’re part of our membership community or not, because it’s best for patients, providers and the industry as a whole.”

Also added to the event were complex rehab tech training and a business leadership track to the conference. The two-day tech training involved technical trainers from MK Battery, Motion Concepts, Permobil, Permobil Manual Wheelchairs (TiLite), Sunrise Medical, FIOS DME Repair Training and Avid Rehab, who presented product specifics, basic repair strategies, troubleshooting, and programming. The business leadership track aimed to help HME business owners and operators develop a sustainable business that has a foundation for growth and exceptional customer service through employee development and retention.  

This year’s installment featured two keynote speakers. The first, Jeff Cribbs, vice president of research for Gartner Industries Research Group, discussed how healthcare megatrends will impact HMEs and how data will play an ever-expanding role in their businesses and healthcare as a whole. The second, Morris Morrison, the author of “Overnight Success: An Inspiring Story About Culture, Results & The American Dream,” discussed how culture changes are impacting today’s businesses and what that means for providers in terms of consumer expectations.

In a moment that reminded Heartland attendees what the HME industry is all about, VGM collaborated with Variety – the Children’s Charity as well as vendors including Rifton, International Biophysics Corp. and EZ-ACCESS to donate special gifts to five families residing in Waterloo, Iowa. The donations included three adaptive tricycles; a high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy vest; and modular ramp system.

“We’re always excited to orchestrate these impactful moments between our membership community and the community VGM calls home,” said Scott Owen, senior vice president of contracting for VGM. “Every recipient will sincerely have a better life thanks to our friends at Rifton, AffloVest, EZ-ACCESS and Variety. Helping those in need live more independently is precisely what VGM, our partners and all industry stakeholders strive to achieve on a daily basis.”

And, of course, VGM hosted it signature networking events, such as the Van G. Miller Memorial Golf Tournament at the Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course and the hog roast and fireworks display at the Riverloop Amphitheatre.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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