Schedule | Medtrade Virtual


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8:15 AM - 8:30 AM


Join us for special welcome messages from the Medtrade staff, Tom Ryan from AAHomecare, and our platinum sponsor VOCSN.

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Update/Comments on Round 2021 & Proposed Rule CMS-1738-P
On Wednesday, October 27th, there were two important releases from CMS.  The first included a notice that only two of the Round 2021 categories will move forward on schedule: knee and back orthotic braces (NIV was already out due to CMS’ decision on Covid-19).  Effectively this means that 13 categories will not move forward in Round 2021. The discussion needs to continue related to how this will affect all suppliers, including those who did not place bids, those who placed bids within the 13 now-removed categories, and those who are offered bracing contracts.  Bid bonds, disqualification issues and contracting concerns will be discussed. Related to the Round 2021 program, a second release set forth detail on proposed rule CMS-1738-P, which affects DMEPOS reimbursement rates in rural, non-rural, and the 130 CBAs.  The formal comment period will open shortly; the VGM team will offer analysis, commentary and perhaps some predictions.

Presenters: Ronda Buhrmester, Sr. Director Payer Relations & Reimbursement, Mark Higley, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, VGM Group, Inc., Craig Douglas, Vice President, Payer and Member Relations, VGM Group, Inc.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

CMS Competitive Bidding Announcement and Legislative Update - Where Do We Go from Here?
This session will provide participants with recent and timely government updates, illustrating how government policies have an affect the HME Industry. Topics will include the 2020 elections and the congressional committee assignments, federal legislation for HME and state level reimbursement concerns.

With last week’s CMS announcement with the Round 2021 competitive bidding program, John also will discuss how the this announcement will affect the different types of HME Suppliers (competitive bidders and non-bidders).

John Gallagher, Vice President, Government Relations, VGM Group Inc.

A Novel World: The Mechanics of Purchasing a DME Company in a Post-COVID-19 World
The mechanics of a DME acquisition can be a mysterious and overwhelming process and COVID-19 has impacted DME transactions more than most buyers realize. Most buyers have no idea what goes into the process but want to enjoy the end result of closing the deal. In a post-COVID-19 world, revealing what goes into purchasing a DME company gives buyers a real advantage when bidding against other potential buyers. This program will discuss the mechanics of a transaction in a post-COVID-19 world, give you an overview as to how COVID-19 has impacted the economy, valuations, and financing, and take you through the step-by-step process of a typical DME acquisition which includes: (i) targeting a seller; (ii) the non-disclosure agreement; (iii) the letter of intent; (iv) due diligence; and (v) the definitive agreement, ancillary documents and the closing table. This program will also discuss why an informed buyer might have an advantage when bidding against an uninformed buyer.

Bradley Smith, Managing Director, Vertess; Tom Knapp, Shareholder and Alfonso Zambrano, Shareholder, Brown & Fortunato, P.C.

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Product Demo - Zoey CPAP Cleaner

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

How to Navigate State Advocacy with Medicaid and Managed Care
If you are interested in hearing successful strategies to improve our industry's position at the state Medicaid level, then be sure to check out this interactive panel discussion. State Leaders will discuss best practices and strategic methods for engaging your state Medicaid regulators and state legislators to ensure appropriate oversight of Medicaid Managed Care plans allowing for quality products, patient choice, and excellent patient outcomes. Key discussion topics include:

  • Identifying common issues
  • Advocacy resources and best practices
  • Pros and cons for pursuing Regulatory versus Legislative change
  • State regulatory strategies
  • State legislative strategies

David Chandler, Director of Payer Relations and Laura Williard, Vice President of Payer Relations, AAHomecare; Beth Bowen, Executive Director (ACMESA, NEMEP, ATHOMES, FAHCS); Jason Morin, President & CEO (HOMES)

Dissecting an OCR Investigation: A case study for HME Suppliers

Data breaches and cyber security have become common phrases in today's conversation, and no place is that more prevalent than healthcare. As a healthcare provider you know the importance of having a HIPAA compliance program, but if the OCR took a closer look, would your program pass inspection? In this session, Kelly will walk you through an OCR investigation, as experienced from an actual HME supplier. Learn what the OCR expects from your organization and what type of evidence you need to prove your HIPAA compliance program can pass the test.

Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Compliant Lead Generation for Medicare: Does it Exist? Is it Scalable?
With the tough Medicare marketplace in our current crippled economy, more and more companies are working that much harder to obtain your customers. In a challenging Medicare compliance environment and a highly competitive landscape - many companies are experiencing a myriad of difficulties and are even abandoning the Medicare market as a whole. However, only companies that adopt successful strategies can penetrate opportunities and improve their approach to senior selling. In order to do so, it is highly important to focus on the right people with the right tactics, especially with the rigid rules surrounding Medicare marketing and selling.

Karina Hayat, President & Co-Founder, Prizm Media Inc.; Lindsay Sessa, Partner, Macaulay & Jamerson, P.C.; Hunter Jamerson, Partner, Macaulay & Jamerson, P.C.

1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Product Demo - CAIRE’s Full Spectrum of Innovative Oxygen Solutions

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Marketing SMART after 6' Apart - The Road to Recovery
The effects of the 2020 pandemic have greatly impacted daily routines, communication methods and habits, livelihoods and buying behaviors. As the year progresses and life begins to revert to "normal," the adopted "new-normal" will play an important role and require additional adaptation to how businesses connect, assist, attract, service and sell to their customers. While you may have adjusted your marketing plan already, such as reducing and/or reserving budgets, modifying methods of communication, processes and messaging, more adaptation is forecasted in the days to come. During this presentation we will review an all-inclusive and integrated marketing approach for you to position your business for growth. You'll walk away equipped for clean change.

Christina Throndson, Business Development, Hellman, A division of VGM

How to Build a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Clinical Sales to Maximize Referrals
Selling in the Medical Community has evolved. The question is, has your business and most importantly has your selling process and techniques? A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will differentiate your business and establish a business platform of training and education, trust, and value. To further emphasize an educational impact on the referral community we must become more clinical in our approach. No longer will you be competing with other providers for time in front of the referral source. With a well-designed USP and emphasized Clinical Approach your sales team will no longer be selling to the referral community, but collaborating with the referral community.

Ty Bello, CEO, Team At Work

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

HME Mergers and Acquisitions: Why It Stands Out in a Post-Covid Environment

The mergers and acquisitions market across all business sectors – health care and otherwise – has been battered by the economic fall-out and uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. But some sectors have unique characteristics that make them comparatively more attractive investment opportunities. Such is the case with home medical equipment. In this session, we will explore how the coronavirus has upended M&A, and in its wake, the business attributes that are most attractive to buyers – particularly those in common with home medical equipment. In so doing, we will draw on proprietary mergers and acquisitions data, lessons learned from the M&A market following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and input from strategic national and regional providers, private equity sponsors, lenders, and other industry notables.

Pat Clifford, Managing Director for Home Medical Equipment, The Braff Group; Dexter Braff, President, The Braff Group

Strategic Sales Planning for 2021

There is always uncertainty in every business, but those that choose to set a Strategic Plan are less often to come short of their goals and also demonstrate greater stability in good and bad times.  For decade's Strategic Plans and the process to develop such a plan have seemed to be unfathomable and daunting. The Process is not one that should be taken lightly, but with the proper outline, team commitment, and a regimented process to completion, your business can develop a Strategic Plan that will get you to There. We will talk directly to those that lead the sales team. Whether you are a VP, Sales Manager, or Owner; if you lead the sales team allow us to help you in constructing a plan for coming out this this COVID-19 environment and accelerate in 2021.  If you have never developed a Strategic Sales Plan or have done so in the past and are unhappy with the results, this session will provide you the tools needed to begin the process and navigate your way to the THERE of your Business Optimization Path to Success.

Ty Bello, CEO, Team At Work

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Product Demo - Invacare Corporation New Products

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Payor Contracting: How to Navigate Narrow & Closed Networks
Dave Siegel and Laura Cabe will discuss and explore how to get into closed and/or narrow networks.  "Closed" insurance panels are costing providers money and they may not even realize it.  By blocking their access to their patients, payors are closing the door on provider's reimbursement opportunities. But, providers don't have to take "no" for an answer. There are proven ways for providers to get on desired "closed" insurance panels, they just have to know how.    That's where Armando Cardoso and Laura Cabe can help. They have gathered the most successful payor panel access tactics and want to share them with you.  In addition, Dave Siegel will share his personal experience as an owner of a national DME company with obtaining contracts with payers with both narrow and closed networks.  Attendees will learn how to get into closed and narrow networks. Attendees will also learn how to effectively negotiate payor contracts by building compelling payor value propositions. Armando will discuss key contracts' language that results in ways to effectively and more easily administer payor contracts.  Learn what to look out for, how to maximize fee schedules, and when to negotiate payor contracts' language.    If you're feeling overwhelmed about how to get into closed and narrow networks then this session is for you.  When you get presented with a "no" and you are not sure about what to do next, then this session is a "must attend"!

David Siegel, CEO & Owner, Nationwide Medical; Laura Cabe, Account Executive, and Effie Carlson, Chief Growth Officer, Healthcents, LLC

COVID-19 Ask The Experts Panel
This panel of industry legislative, regulatory, and billing experts from AAHomecare, Brown & Fortunato, MiraVista and The van Halem Group will be available to attendees to receive updates on any issues related to COVID-19 including current status of the pandemic, outstanding issues, billing and audit questions, and what we can anticipate in the future.

Moderator: Wayne van Halem, President, The van Halem Group

Panelists: Cara Bachenheimer, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato; Andrea Stark, Member, MiraVista, LLC; Kim Brummett, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Laura Williard, Vice President of Payer Relations

4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Product Demo - Explore Batteries for Respiratory Care (7 Models)

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Challenges or Opportunities: How to Survive in Turbulent Times
Prior to COVID-19, suppliers had multiple challenges to its business practices. COVID-19 resulted in CMS issuing a number of waivers related to enrollment and enforcement of local coverage decisions. In addition, medical review audits were placed on hold. These changes were effective for the duration of the public health emergency and were intended to allow suppliers to survive and care for their patients in turbulent times. These opportunities, if not handled properly, could result in enforcement action for suppliers. This session will focus on the current challenges and opportunities for DME suppliers and will offer practical tips for thriving in this environment. It will discuss the status of current enforcement actions such as audit initiatives, payment suspensions, NSC revocations, and new regulations for provider enrollment which can all be traps for the unwary. Most importantly, the presentation will provide common sense approaches on how to respond to such issues. Understanding how to ethically and efficiently operate in turbulent times can mean the difference between thriving and having to close your doors.

Denise Leard, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato; Todd Moody, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato

Where to Play and How to Win: Strategic Frameworks for Driving Growth
Deciding which ways to grow needs to be intentional — not driven by luck. Learn best practices and strategic frameworks that the biggest and best management consulting companies utilize. Learn the necessary conditions for a value-creating, sustainable enterprise.

Patricio Casillas, Chief Strategy Officer, US MED; Mary Ellen Conway, Chief Compliance Officer, US MED


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

COVID-19 Government Enforcement Update
COVID-19 caused the federal government to inject a tremendous amount of tax payer money into the economy in myriad forms of relief, all with different strings attached.  Unsurprisingly, fraud ensued and enforcement will only become more prevalent.   This presentation will discuss different types of COVID-19 enforcement trends and issues, from the CARES Act Relief Funding mechanisms, to PPP, PPE and diagnostic and clinical testing.  You will hear different perspectives from both sides of a criminal or civil investigation.  You will hear from a health care regulatory attorney, a health care fraud and government investigations attorney, and the former Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General (2017) and Deputy Assistant Attorney General (2017-2020) of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice.

John Lawrence, Partner, K&L Gates; Leah Richardson, Partner, K&L Gates; David Rybicki, Partner

Practical CRM in a Post Pandemic World
Circumstances changed the way HME providers conduct business. Overnight they went from face-to-face to non-essential, requiring a different layer of discipline for the salesforce, sales leadership and the C-Suite. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) went from optional to must-have, and HME sales and marketing teams found new and creative ways to leverage CRM to create better, stronger, and predictable relationships.

This interactive panel discussion led by Ty Bello, HME Sales Expert will include two CRM users as they share stories and testimonials from the sales front lines of the COVID-19 environment.

Attendees will learn:

  • CRM 101: Practical uses of CRM
  • CRM stories: Real-world applications of CRM pre, during, and post COVID-19
  • CRM best practices: Perspective from the field, leadership and the C-Suite
  • CRM and data: Mine the data and maximize referral strategies
  • CRM ROI: The investment and value of keeping your customers

Ty Bello, President and Founder, Team@Work; Jennifer Orr, VP of Sales, Medical Modalities; and Jennifer Artabane, VP, Product, PlayMaker Health

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Billing, Reimbursement and the Operational Impact of COVID-19
In the new normal, what are billing trends that impact reimbursement? How do you maximize payment and keep it? Knowing that every HME provider grapples with these issues, learn about billing practices for today that maximize payment potential. Knowing that CMS will look back on these practices, we will also discuss considerations for how to keep your money long term. Maintaining a healthy balance of getting the patient what they need and making sure the business is sustainable going forward requires finesse and strong operational best practices. All of this and more will be included in this comprehensive and essential discussion. Join Miriam and Ronda for a timely dialogue.

Miriam Lieber, President, Lieber Consulting LLC; Ronda Buhrmester, Senior Director of Payer Relations and Reimbursement, The VGM Group

Educating the HME Consumer to Grow Your Retail Revenue
The demand for HME retail products continues to grow. The HME consumer needs to be educated about HME products and how they can improve their lives. Cutting edge HME retailers understand how educating the consumer generates great sales revenue. This course is designed to provide HME companies the tools they need to help consumers make a better buying decision by helping them understand the different products value to their lifestyle goals. This course will help you understand the following:

  • How to identify upselling and cross selling opportunities
  • Creating an educational mindset to help your customers make the best buying decision
  • Steps to improving your average sales price and leverage your relationship with your customers

Wayne Grau, HME Category Manager, MK Battery

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Product Demo - Mask Selector 3D and 2D


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Audit and Compliance Guidance in the Post Pandemic Era
COVID-19 brought with it a wide array of waivers and flexibilities from Medicare, Medicaid, Managed Care and commercial plans. This included completely waiving LCD and NCD requirements for certain equipment; increased use and expansion of telehealth services; and removing accreditation requirements, background checks and application fees as part of an expedited enrollment process. And with these temporary changes, come concerns from suppliers regarding what to expect once the Public Health Emergency is lifted. Will payer audits ramp back up, wreaking havoc on the industry? How can we protect our business when things get back to "normal?" This presentation will discuss some of the challenges that we expect to be confronted with, and will provide insight and guidance on how to plan and prevent audits from having a significant impact in the future.

Wayne van Halem, President, The van Halem Group; Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group

Inside the Beltway: What to Expect from Capitol Hill and CMS
CMS announced on October 27 significant changes to the Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding program, and posted its proposed DMEPOS payment rule for 2021. Over the last several months, Capitol Hill and CMS have been dealing with the many issues related to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. In this program, you will get an "inside the beltway" perspective on the latest news from CMS on competitive bidding and 2021 payment rates for DMEPOS items; you’ll learn what to expect from Capitol Hill and CMS. Among other topics, we will review Congressional activity affecting the DME community, CMS's annual payment rule for DMEPOS suppliers, competitive bidding, and other regulatory issues impacting your business. Equally important, we will discuss how DME suppliers can take steps to prepare for these anticipated legislative and regulatory developments.

Cara Bachenheimer, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Lessons Learned for the Long Haul - A Panel Discussion

COVID-19 has taught us all to be flexible and nimble. Through persistent and focused leadership, working from home and working on the front lines, productivity has soared. What are the tools and resources used to enable staff to perform their job duties? How is staff protected on the front line? In this panel discussion, industry providers will share new best practices that have led them to healthier and more successful companies. Join Miriam Lieber and HME colleagues for a lively and informative dialogue.

Miriam Lieber, President, Lieber Consulting LLC; Gary Sheehan, CEO, Spiro Health;
Josh Marx, Managing Director of Sleep & Vice President of Business Development, Medical Service Company; Allen Clark, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Performance Modalities, Inc./Performance Home Medical

Staying Connected to Employees and Patients in a Global Crisis
2020 brought unexpected changes to healthcare businesses across the country as COVID-19 gripped the nation. Depending on their area of focus, HME businesses faced high demand followed by equipment shortages, or they experienced a significant drop in business because they didn't have the tools in place to meet patient needs. So, how can you make sure your business is set up for success should the unexpected happen? From ensuring your employees can stay connected by working from home to the benefits of adding eCommerce functionality to your site's website, this session will help you prepare to stay connected to your employees and customers.

Will Cousin, President, VGM Forbin

1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Product Demo - Using Benchmarks for Better Insights

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Cybersecurity and the HME Supplier: What you need to know now
What would happen if your organization's data was held for ransom? Does your insurance policy include cyber liability? Do your policies and procedures address business continuity in the event of a cyberattack? Cybersecurity is every business' greatest risk in today's digital world, it has the potential to ruin a business or provide the greatest rewards. Patient health information is one of the hottest data types out there and hackers are using all means possible to get their hands on it for financial gain. In this session, you will about the different methods hackers use to break down your security walls. Discover the various measures your organization should take to protect your patients' PHI and your brand reputation. Presenters will help you understand the key things you can do to establish a solid security and privacy posture. Learn about the latest cybersecurity challenges and best practices, as well as regulations and compliance strategies.

Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group; Jay Bracken, Information Security Officer, The VGM Group

Reimbursement Update: Coronavirus Edition

In late December 2019, a Chinese health commission reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. A few weeks later, when the first case of COVID-19 appeared in the US, federal, state, and local governments scrambled to implement defensive measures, including a multitude of relaxed reimbursement rules to ensure access to care during the outbreak. Nine months later we are still dealing with the impact and aftermath of the public health emergency.

In this session, Andrea clarifies the coronavirus-related DME billing modifications in effect and provides guidance for returning to normal as temporary regulations expire. Updates affecting DME operations include:

  • Telehealth visits to supporting medical necessity.
  • Oxygen coverage for acute diagnoses.
  • CMN waivers for oxygen and infusion policies.
  • Expanded patient access to respiratory and infusion therapy.
  • Increased access to multi-function ventilators.
  • Audits and enrollment.
  • Signature requirements.

Andrea Stark, Member, MiraVista, LLC

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Creating Successful CSR Teams for a Remote Work Environment
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that we must adapt to being able to work remotely from our traditional business operations. How can we be better prepared to manage our business operations when the virus returns? This is particularly important when dealing with our Call Center and CSR teams. This session will address how we can effectively utilize our staff and increase patient satisfaction despite business disruptions. We will discuss the KPI's and the metrics you need to track for the communications between your patient and members of the care team. Positive interactions with your representatives will help create a loyal relationship with your customers.

Bruce Gehring, SVP, Business Development, Allegiance Group; Sharon Bock, SVP, Business Development, Allegiance Group

Patient Engagement: Aligning Technology with a Personal Touch to Improve Health Outcomes

In this session, attendees will learn about patient engagement, patient engagement models, and discuss opportunities for improving patient engagement to improve health outcomes.  Attendees will learn how one company's journey in adopting and implementing different forms of patient engagement improved health outcomes for their respiratory patients and how their relationships with patients has expanded through the use of technology.   Attendees will have an opportunity to hear case studies and also learn how patient engagement techniques also create networking opportunities and partnerships with providers and other community agencies that can lead to new revenue streams.

Cheryl Henninger, Director, Geroulds Healthcare Center/Community Cares Health Solutions; Jeff Kristoff, Vice President, Client Success, Tapcloud, LLC; Kristin Conrad, B.S., RRT, CEAC, Clinical Specialist; Geroulds Healthcare Center/Community Cares Health Solution

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Product Demo - F&P Evora, Vitera, and myMask App 

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Life in the Post-COVID-19 World: The New Normal for DME Suppliers
Except for the 1918 influenza pandemic, what our country is experiencing is unprecedented. There is no playbook on how to respond, and policy makers are working overtime to catch up with events that are continuing to unfold on the ground. This program will discuss the relaxation of Medicare requirements pertaining to (i) supplier standards; (ii) LCDs, NCDs, and Policy Articles; (iii) face-to-face encounters; (iv) who can order DME; (v) telehealth; (vi) documentation; (vii) provider enrollment; and (viii) audits and appeals. This program will further discuss the recently passed federal laws that affect DME suppliers, including the (i) Families First Coronavirus Response Act; (ii) Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act; (iii) Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act; (iv) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"); and (v) Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act ("PPPHCE Act"). Lastly, this program will discuss which of these changes will disappear after the pandemic is over and which changes could be with us permanently.

Jeffrey Baird, Attorney, Brown & Forunato; Cara Bachenheimer, Attorney, Brown & Fortunato

Buying and Selling Toilet Paper: Preparing to Purchase or Sell in a post-COVID-19 World
COVID-19 has impacted both buyers and sellers in the deal making process. Now, in a post-COVID-19 world, buyers are not the only ones who are conducting an investigation before buying a business; smart sellers are coming to the table with a clear understanding of their business' competitive position in the current market, a realistic asking price, and knowledge of a potential buyer's suitability well before they sit down to negotiate.  This program will discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the overall economy for deals, valuations, and financing, and the specifics of preparing for the purchase and/or sale of a DME supplier, specifically: (i) what a buyer looks for in acquiring a supplier, and (ii) how a supplier can make itself more attractive to a group of buyers. Prospective buyers will learn to ask the right questions related to product/payer mix, Competitive Bidding Contracts, referral source issues, licensing and permits, audit risks, and other legal matters. Sellers will learn which action steps can make their business more attractive in the current marketplace, including selling your business if you have received a loan through the Payroll Protection Program, cleaning up sloppy books and tax records, dealing with Medicare/Medicaid issues, patient files, employment matters, and organizing material contracts in preparation for the transaction. This program will also discuss the different types of transaction structures (stock v. asset).

Bradley Smith, Managing Director, Vertess; Tom Knapp, Shareholder and Alfonso Zambrano, Shareholder, Brown & Fortunato, P.C.

* schedule subject to change