VGM & Invacare Partner to Empower Independent DME Providers

Invacare Corp. and the VGM Group announced at Medtrade Spring that they have entered a partnership to benefit independent DME suppliers.

At a media breakfast before the show opened at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Carl Will, Invacare group VP of the manufacturer’s HME Group, said of the relationship, “Together, it’ll be critical and important to make sure independent providers remain viable.” He was alluding to the number of current industry challenges, including impending competitive bidding, recent reimbursement cuts and further threats to funding and access to home medical equipment and services.

“PR is another key focus,” Will added. “We’re a good industry, and we want people to know we’re a good industry.” Will explained that VGM and Invacare will also work together on such issues as government relations, competitive bidding, finance programs, and training and education.

Jim Walsh, VGM general counsel, said of the partnership, “One of the first companies we did business with was Invacare… On behalf of 400 associated and 2,000-plus members, we want to thank (Invacare Chairman/CEO) Mal (Mixon) and Carl (Will) -- this is a big venture for us.” Of today’s industry climate, Walsh said, “We’re in a fight for our lives.”

Said VGM founder/CEO Van G. Miller, “By teaming with Invacare, VGM will give its members an even better chance to remain profitable, independent entities servicing the needs of millions of health-care beneficiaries.”

For more information on VGM and its U.S. Rehab division headed by Jerry Keiderling, visit www.vgm.com or www.usrehab.com. For more information on Invacare Corp., go to www.invacare.com.

This article originally appeared in the June 2007 issue of Mobility Management.

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