VGM on HME Expo: 'Excellent opportunity for industry'

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The VGM Group in February announced that it would attend and support the HME Exposition & Conference in Baltimore, April 21-23. VGM President Ron Bendell said this about the HME Expo: “They have taken the time to listen to what the industry needs. They’ve been responsive to what providers are looking for and what exhibitors want. They are attempting to bring all facets of the industry together at one event, which we support. Speaking with one voice is the only way to get things done in Washington.”

HME News: What value does the HME Exposition & Conference offer HME providers?

Ron Bendell: The Expo offers providers the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. It allows them to voice their concerns on Capitol Hill and to attend a tradeshow where they can learn through educational opportunities, meet with their vendors and network with their peers. This is an excellent opportunity for the industry to come together - providers, manufacturers and vendors.

HME: Does VGM plan to play a role in the advocacy efforts around the HME Exposition & Conference?

Bendell: Our vice president of government relations, John Gallagher, and his team will help organize the issues and talking points that will be highlighted at these Hill meetings. They’ll also schedule appointments for providers to meet with elected officials.

HME News: What is at risk legislatively for the rest of the year?

Bendell: The risk is that nothing will change and (national competitive bidding) keeps rolling down the track. However, we are hearing more positive support for the industry from members of Congress than we have ever heard before. The industry should be commended for finally stepping up and establishing long-term positive relationships with members of Congress. They are starting to get it that HME is the solution and not the problem. On the Hill (in February) our members heard from office after office that CMS is broken and needs to be fixed. The VGM Group will continue to promote our members’ best interets.