Home Program Speakers

*Speakers subject to change. 

Education Schedule          Agenda-at-a-Glance

  • Nikki Giamarino

    Nikki Giamarino

    Business Development Manager, American Breast Care

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: Why Custom?

    From billing/reimbursement to product options and successful selling techniques to demonstration, this session will have you asking why you have yet to jump on the custom wagon! Have you wondered if custom is right for your business? Join American Breast Care custom breast prosthesis team members for an interactive session where you can see, touch, and feel product options, try your hand at scanning, learn what tools are available to you to market custom, and test your knowledge regarding reimbursement.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Name the stages it takes to develop a custom breast prosthesis.
    2. Discuss the sales and marketing strategies to use within your business. 
    3. Distinguish between myths and facts regarding reimbursement.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Nikki Giamarino

    Nikki M. Giamarino, CFm, Business Development Manager, is an ABC Certified Fitter with over 20 years in the medical and breast care industry, including instructing education classes. She holds a BS in Health Administration from Auburn University. Her personal experience, industry knowledge, and caring personality are the perfect combination for an exceptional learning experience. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, and riding her motorcycle.

  • Bryan Groleau

    Bryan Groleau

    National Clinical Educator for Wound Care and Lymphedema, medi USA

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: Expand Your Lymphedema Business: Day and Night
    The medi Lymphedema therapy concept is an approach to lymphedema treatment that emphasizes patient independence throughout all the phases of treatment and focuses on offering all the tools needed to be successful in one's lifelong journey with lymphedema. Determining the best product choices for a patient's long-term self management can not just be difficult for the patient, but also for the clinician and supplier. In this presentation, we will be discussing some strategies that offer patients more success with their self-care home programs through highlighting products that can assist patients in transitioning from therapy over to independent self-management. Setting patients up with success in lymphedema self-management is the most important aspect of what providers, clinicians and suppliers can offer a patient with lymphedema; and knowing what tools to offer a patient is a critical component of this. After attending this session you will have a better knowledge on product offerings for day and nighttime and have the most updated information on the newest tools for medi nighttime use.

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Attendees will identify and understand 3 phases of lymphedema therapy.
    • Attendees will identify appropriate products specific to daytime, nighttime and anytime products.
    • Attendees will identify 2 differences among daytime and nighttime compression garments. 
    • Attendees will identify 2 purposes to nighttime compression products.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Scientific | BOC: 1.25 Scientific

    About Bryan Groleau

    Bryan Groleau, a national senior clinical education manager for mediUSA, specializes in lower extremity lymphedema and wounds. Since 2003, Bryan has treated all types of lymphedema in outpatient and home health settings, has initiated and managed multiple lymphedema and wound care programs, and has treated patients with Lymphatic Filariasis in Léogâne, Haiti, with medi for help.

  • Colene Elridge

    Colene Elridge

    CEO, Be More Consulting, LLC

    Class: General Session

    Keynote Session: Be the CEO of YOU!

    So many of us live our lives as a supporting role instead of the lead. This inspiring keynote will give you the chance to step into the CEO role of your life. We'll explore your vision, check in on your departments, and identify your board of directors. You will tie your core values with personal accountability to build momentum, and achieve your life goals. You'll leave with more clarity and passion to be the CEO of YOU.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Identify core values and why these shape your decisions.
    2. Create a personal vision statement that help move them forward.
    3. Identify personal strengths and how to play into your zone of genius.
    4. Understand how to create more energy in your life to get things done.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.5 Business

    Session: Ask Me Anything

    With so many small businesses, the owner ends up wearing all the hats and spending lots of time just figuring things out. Where we often struggle is not the logistics of running a business, but with people and managing people. This round table discussion-style session will give you the chance to ask an HR professional and Coach how to best manage that sticky people situation. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Name 2 ideas on how how to be a better leader within your company.
    • Educate on human resources information and questions.
    • Advise on people issues and concerns with employees.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Colene Elridge

    Colene Elridge, aka Coach Colene’s decade-plus of HR experience, led to her being known as “the fixer”- she’s called to help organizations and leaders create better workplaces, productive teams, and aligned results. Her career in government focused on Affirmative Action, EEO, and Diversity. She was a successful investigator of harassment and discrimination complaints and implemented strategies that resulted in more diverse and inclusive workplaces. She is the CEO of Be More Consulting, a boutique agency designed to support organizations in creating cultures of inclusion, and developing women leaders. Her first book, Monday Morning Pep Talks, was named by Success Magazine as a top book for professional women. She is the founder of EmpowHer Conference, a women's leadership event that focuses on building women into leaders both at work and in their lives.  Colene has a bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology from Transylvania University, where she currently serves on the Board of Regents, and an MBA from Sullivan University. She loves yoga, her family, movies, and laughing! 

  • Jim Lawson

    Jim Lawson

    Outreach Development, American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC)

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: 2021: Facility Accreditation Standards: How to be Compliant in a Challenging O&P World

    Change is all around us especially in the COVID-19 world and it’s how you stay ahead of the curve which will ensure your success. Where is our profession going and what changes can we make to stay on top and safe?  Join this education opportunity and discussion on best business practices and ways to help your facility be compliant with the ABC accreditation standards. We’ll discuss ABC’s extensive set of accreditation tools and resources to help you become and remain the best business you can be. We’ll review:

    • Best business practices that will save you time and money
    • Complying with the standards that apply directly to your boutique
    • Chart documentation that supports treatment, billing and medical necessity. Make sure you get paid for the services you provide and help defend yourself from audits.
    • Opportunities for marketing your practice
    • The Top Ten issues ABC surveyors discover during their surveys and even more importantly, how to avoid them! 

    Learning Objectives:

    • Outline accreditation standards.
    • Describe best business practices as it relates to accreditation.
    • Name three items that can help with passing your accreditation survey.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Jim Lawson

    Jim manages ABC’s outreach Development and in that role he devotes his time to working with business owners, helping them to navigate the accreditation process and improve their businesses. He also works with students and residents to help them be prepared for the ABC certificate board exams. Jim speaks at national, regional, state, and chapter O&P, Pedorthics, and Mastectomy conferences as well as universities and colleges as he represents ABC. He also produces educational video series for ABC, webinars and podcasts. With over 20 years’ experience in partnership building, public outreach, and business development, Jim brings to the O&P profession a unique perspective to help business owners succeed.

  • Matt Gruskin, MBA, BOCO, BOCPD, CDME

    Matt Gruskin, MBA, BOCO, BOCPD, CDME

    Chief Operating Officer, Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC)

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: Certifications: Best Business Practice

    This session explains the roles of fitter and durable medical equipment specialist certifications and the business advantages of hiring certified personnel. In this presentation, we will discuss the value of certification and how to market your credentials as a competitive advantage. Participants will learn about the role of the mutiple certifications and the path to acheive these. Becoming certified or employing certified professionals not only differetiates you from the competition but supports compliance with Medicare Human Resource Quality Standards. 

    Learning Objective:

    1. Understand the role of a COF, CMF and CDME and the advantages of certification.
    2. Discuss the requirements and process to become certified.
    3. Understand the business advantages to having certified professionals on your staff.
    4. Discuss how to successfully market credentialed employees and the companies they support.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Matt Gruskin, MBA, BOCO, BOCPD, CDME

    Matt Gruskin leads the direction, strategy, policies, and day-to-day operations of the business accreditation and professional certification programs at Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC). With a focus on credentialing program standards and the delivery of excellent customer service, Matt enjoys sharing his experience and expertise with audiences as both a speaker and an author. Prior to joining BOC, he spent 10 years in clinical practice, specializing in orthotics and prosthetics. Matt holds an MBA in healthcare from Florida International University, a post-graduate certificate in O&P from the University of Hartford, and a post-graduate certificate from the International School of Pedorthics.

  • Nikki Jensen

    Nikki Jensen

    Vice President, Essentially Women

    Class: General Session

    Sunday, February 6 | 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
    Vendor Connections Event

    The last two years have been unprecedented.  Nearly everyone has needed to make adjustments to their business model and re-establish their goals and expectations.  This session will allow you the opportunity to meet vendors to discuss where you’re at now and what you’re seeking to grow your business. Whether it’s an adjacent product to complement existing product lines or looking for diversification to strengthen your overall portfolio, this session will help you make those all-important connections. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Identify products or programs that would be beneficial to your business.
    • Collect contact information for prospective programs that will be helpful to further develop your business.
    • Plan for follow-up conversations after the initial conversations with those opportunities that are of interest.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 2.25 Business | BOC: 2.50 Business

    About Nikki Jensen

    Nikki is the vice president for Essentially Women and oversees the daily operation of the membership group.  She started her career with the VGM Group in 1995 in the equipment finance division.  Over the course of being with VGM from 1995-1999 and 2009-present, she’s had experience working with many different divisions of VGM including Homelink, VGM Insurance, National Sleep Services and VGM & Associates, the DME member service organization.  In addition to her VGM experience, Nikki spent 6 years working in pharmaceutical sales and 4 years in the insurance industry.  One thing Nikki is passionate about is helping independent providers thrive and succeed.  She understands how challenging it is to operate under the scrutiny of payer guidelines and wants EW to be a resource you can lean on as a community of like-minded people all working to serve patients in your own local communities. 

  • Ronda Buhrmester

    Ronda Buhrmester

    Sr. Director Payer Relations & Reimbursement, VGM Government Relations

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: Streamlining Documentation and Orders

    Understanding documentation requirements are key for any business that is submitting claims to payers within the HME space. Having an order on file is only a start to contacting the patient and dispensing a product, the documentation within the medical record is the key element to getting claims paid in addition to keeping that money in years to come when post payment audits occur.  Is medical necessity allowed on an order?  What information is needed for payment by a payer?  How can this process be streamlined?  During this session, there will be discussion around these questions and more!

    Learning Objectives: 
    1. Discuss how to identify documentation requirements necessary for payment.
    2. Explain a good order versus a not so good order.
    3. Discuss options for streamlining the process for more efficiency.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Ronda Buhrmester

    As a VGM associate since 2012, Ronda specializes in the billing, reimbursement, and audit area as the Senior Director of Payer Relations and Reimbursement.  She managed a hospital-based DME in Illinois for 12 years and handled sales and marketing.  Ronda is a respiratory therapist as well as a certified mastectomy fitter.  Over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, she assists VGM and Essentially Women members with review of claims and all types of audits and educates members on medical policies in the respiratory and all other DME products.  She serves on the Medicare council for all jurisdictions and is a member of the Provider Outreach and Education teams with the Jurisdictions. She is also on the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association Board of Directors, and a member the National Supplier Clearinghouse Advisory Council.  Ronda has presented at the VGM Heartland Conference as well as the Medtrade East and West, and many state association meetings, and has conducted many webinars and on-site education with VGM and Essentially Women members.

  • Daniel Karadsheh

    Daniel Karadsheh

    Inelastic Compression Manager, Thuasne

    Class: General Session

    Session: New Tools for Reduction Phase Treatments and the Importance of Nighttime Garments

    Nighttime treatments for lymphedema are just as important as daytime treatment, but can often be looked over or become lax over time. In this session, we will discuss new concepts as well as established protocols in nighttime lymphedema treatment. We will review new techniques in the reduction phase in lymphedema treatment and discuss the importance of treatment for lymphedema patients at night.

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Discuss the philosophy of medium-stretch bandages in the reduction phase, opposed to short-stretch only techniques.
    • Understand the importance of nighttime treatments for lymphedema patients.
    • Explain the reasons to use foam in the lymphedema treatment protocols.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Scientific | BOC: 1.25 Scientific

    About Daniel Karadsheh

    Daniel Karadsheh is the Manager of Inelastic Compression at Knit-Rite|Thuasne and is on the NLN Board of Directors.  He began his career in the world of corporate tax for financial and medical companies, including Stryker Corporation, where he found his passion for the Medical Device industry.  Dan has been in medical compression for over 20 years. During that time he founded BiaCare, a manufacturer of compression products for people with Lymphedema, in 2006.  BiaCare was sold to Sigvaris in 2016.

  • Paul DiMarco

    Paul DiMarco

    Vice President, Organizational Development, VGM Group, Inc.

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: EQ is the New Smart

    “Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.” (Travis Bradberry) Unlike IQ, we can all substantially increase our EQ with effort. Doing so will lead to increased levels of life-fulfillment, interpersonal engagement, satisfaction, and even earning power. Employing self-awareness tools and practices is the key to improving our EQ. Once we start to do that, we can start positively affecting how we interact with others. For managers and leaders, this can lead to higher engagement and productivity with the teams we lead. Understanding EQ and how to get there with self-awareness can help a company be more profitable, but more importantly, can help all employees be more engaged and feel more valued.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Define IQ.
    2. Describe self-awareness strategies and how to employ them to improve EQ.
    3. List the ways improving your EQ can positively affect your life.
    4. Identify resources that activate your EQ and self-awareness journey.

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Paul DiMarco

    Paul DiMarco is vice president, Organizational Development of VGM Group Inc. In his role, Paul strategizes employee and organizational development plans with the various VGM business units. Paul also gets involved in presenting and facilitating development programs and holds certifications and credentials in multiple development programs/disciplines – most recently as a Certified Strengths Coach for the Clifton Strengths program with Gallup Corporation, and as an Associate Professional in Talent Development.  He has held leadership and development positions since joining VGM in 2010.  Paul and his wife, Lynda, live in Waverly, IA, and have two sons and two grandsons. Paul enjoys travel, creating outdoor adventures, and smoking many kinds of meat.

  • Rob Baumhover

    Rob Baumhover

    Director of Retail Programs, VGM & Associates

    Class: General Session

    Session: Retail Round Table Workshop: The 3 Musts to Operating a Profitable Retail Business

    This session will incorporate the uniquely collaborative elements of VGM’s Brick by Brick: Retail Learning Workshops into 2.25 hours of learning and brainstorming. If you have never attended one of these workshops, you can prepare for an engaging and lively environment coupled with attendee participation, and active takeaways. What makes this session different are the fresh ingredients delivered by your industry peers. VGM and Essentially Women have found that in-person discussion garnished with expert-led roundtables is the recipe for nutrient-rich learning. After all, it tastes best to learn from the best (aka- the people who are in the weeds of owning and operating a cash business). As you shuffle from the topics, find yourself sifted into the mix of owners and managers that operate using a variety of business strategies – all-cash models, partial cash models, and insurance-based models looking to expand with retail. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Discuss different marketing strategies that other providers are using to generate business.
    2. Describe the different ways to teach and train your sales staff.
    3. Identify different categories and products that sell.
    4. Discuss different merchandising techniques to drive additional sales. 

    CEUs: ABCOP: 2.25 Business | BOC: 2.50 Business

    About Rob Baumhover

    Rob Baumhover is the Director of Retail Programs with VGM & Associates. He is the creator of the VGM Retail Program, which assists VGM members to diversify their HME businesses through improved retail operations. Before joining VGM in 2010, Baumhover worked in a variety of positions with big-box retail companies including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Hobby Lobby, Menards, and Wal-Mart. In his retail career spanning over 20 years, Rob opened and managed numerous big-box retail stores throughout the Midwest, with responsibilities including the daily operations of stores, the setup of floor plans, ordering merchandise, and the hiring and training of management and sales employees. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Teaching from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA.

  • Rachel Schools

    Rachel Schools

    Senior Consultant

    Class: General Session

    Session Title: Best Practices for Managing Your Back-Office Operations

    Businesses are feeling the heat of rising labor rates, overworked employees and reimbursement cuts.  These pains can impact one of the most crucial areas:  back-office operations.  From order confirmation and billing to collections and cash posting, these teams are critical to a company’s overall success.  This session will dig deeply into the best practices for managing your back office to encouraging employee engagement, patient satisfaction and company growth.  We will explore workflow, technology tools, incentives and key metrics. 

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Describe back-office Revenue Cycle Management workflow.
    2. Discuss best practices for each step of the workflow and how to avoid common pitfalls.
    3. Explain how to leverage technology for success.
    4. Explain the common KPI's for the back office or billing. 

    CEUs: ABCOP: 1.0 Business | BOC: 1.25 Business

    About Rachel Schools

    Rachel Schools is the Senior Consultant at Prochant. With 20 years of experience in medical intake, billing, and collections, Schools provides invaluable advice to providers and guides them through best practices for their revenue cycle processes. Her areas of focus include: continuous process improvement, strategic planning, revenue cycle management, team development and leadership, and change management. 

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