VGM builds new company

Sunday, February 8, 2009

WATERLOO, Iowa - The VGM Group has launched a new company, Accessible Home Improvements of America (AHIA), to tap into the "exploding" home modifications market, it announced last week.

"This is a big opportunity," stated Jim Andreassen, president of AHIA, in a release. "We can help many of our VGM and U.S. Rehab members diversify into home modifications. Diversification into other areas of business such as this may be a key to profitability in today's world of increasing costs and declining reimbursement."

VGM first entered the home modifications market in 2006, when U.S. Rehab began administering the certified environmental access consultant (CEAC) credential. AHIA will now administer the credential and test.

Providers who wish to become a member of AHIA must have a CEAC on staff.

One of the biggest benefits of the home modifications market, according to Andreassen: "The majority of this business is cash, workers' comp and private trust funds," he said. "That means fewer headaches because providers don't have to deal with Medicare, Medicaid and management care organizations."

As president of AHIA, Andreassen plans to develop contracts with manufacturers of accessible home fixtures and form a network of contractors qualified to perform home modifications.

Andreassen has been with VGM since 2001 as president of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America.