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Is employee recognition worth the effort?

Posted On: September 7, 2022 by Mike Mallaro in: Opinions, VGM, Work Culture

We recently moved my Dad out of the home he has lived in for nearly four decades.  Declining cognitive abilities and frailties of age necessitated his move to assisted living.  One of the traumas, and joys, of moving from home to assisted living is shedding many belongings which accumulated over a lifetime. So many memories. As we went through yet another set of keepsakes, Dad spotted a metal item at the bottom of the box. It was a well-worn pocketknife bearing the words “Safety Award,”...
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Tags: awards, employee recognition, engagement, feedback, recognition

Waterloo Convention Center

Recharge Your Battery & Renew Your Soul @ Heartland

Posted On: March 9, 2022 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Healthcare, VGM

You belong at VGM’s Heartland Conference this summer (June 13-15, 2022) if you are involved in the HME industry.  Get there.  Let’s face it, after two years of a pandemic, isolation, workforce disruptions, supply chain constraints and recalls, we are all a bit dazed.  We’re tired, anxious, frustrated, and languishing.  Sure, we’ve gotten through it. We adjusted. We zigged where we used to zag. We persevered.  And most of us have been fortunate...
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Tags: Heartland, Heartland Conference, Heartland2022, hme, Recharge, Renew, VGMHeartland


Celebrating ESOP Month

Posted On: October 29, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

October is ESOP month.  An ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan that gives workers equity ownership in the company in which they work.  Our company, VGM Group, is a 100% ESOP, which means that all its stock is owned by our employees. There are 6,200 ESOP owned companies in the U.S., with about half of those being 100% ESOPs.   Employee-ownership was initially conceived by Benjamin Franklin as a fair way for workers to benefit from the value of their labor, a way for those...
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Tags: Employee ownership, ESOP Month, vgm


The Finish Line

Posted On: April 30, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The sun is shining in Waterloo, Iowa.  Sixty or seventy people are queued up at our Annex office getting their second dose of vaccine.  A VGM mom, masked, her eight-week-old baby in tow.  Baby knows no other world, yet smiling with delight, taking in all the action, happy, healthy, vibrant.  Two of our people talking in the hallway, spitting ideas, plotting a course for an upcoming pitch.  Two others waiting out their fifteen-minute post-shot hourglass,...
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Tags: end of pandemic, hope, optimism, post-pandemic

Healthcare Trends during the Pandemic

Healthcare consumption trends during the pandemic

Posted On: March 12, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, VGM

The pandemic had a significant impact on healthcare businesses and healthcare consumption.    With full 2020 data now reported, we can assess the trends and what they may indicate going forward: For the full year of 2020, health insurers experienced a reduction in healthcare consumption of about 2-3% compared to 2019.  I think it is reasonable to assume healthcare consumption other than COVID declined by about 5-6% for the year, offset in part by the increased healthcare...
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Tags: covid trends, healthcare trends, pandemic

Van G Miller

Value in Peaceful Reflection & Restfulness

Posted On: November 30, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Opinions, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

I saw Van the other night.  He pointed to me, smiled and yelled across the way, “lowering your handicap, Mikey?” Van is Van G. Miller, founder of VGM and the man who preceded me as CEO of our company.  He passed in 2015 – a faulty heart and too much wear on the tires.  I worked for him and learned from him for fourteen years prior to succeeding his legend.  He loved golf and a reference to a golf handicap was not unexpected. I’m left wondering what...
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Tags: dreams, mindfulness, reflection, restfulness

Healthcare Trends during the Pandemic

Healthcare Activity in Pandemic - Q3 Update

Posted On: November 17, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, Opinions, Social commentary, VGM

I continue to watch the pandemic’s meaningful impact on the healthcare business and consumption of healthcare.  With third quarter data now reported, we can assess the trends and what the next few months may hold: The initial heat of the pandemic was mid-March through mid-May.  In the second quarter of 2020 (April-June) there was a reduction in non-emergent and elective healthcare services.  Largely this was considered a deferral of services but in reality a portion of...
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Tags: covid19, future, health, trends, mega-trends, pandemic

custom breast prosthesis

Failure by Medicare Bureaucrats

Posted On: September 30, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, VGM

pros-the-sis (noun): a device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.  Medicare provides health coverage for prosthetics (artificial limbs and body parts) when need is indicated by the patient’s physician.  Makes perfect sense.  Further, Medicare coverage provides for a custom-fit prosthetic - arms, legs, ears, hands, eyes...
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Tags: custom breast prosthesis, essentially women

team player

Win with great team players

Posted On: September 21, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The other day I clicked on the link to a video of a basketball game played 40 years ago – and had an epiphany - mostly the best teams win, not the team with the best player(s).    The game was Iowa vs. Georgetown, with the winner going to the Final Four.  The Iowa team had no all-Big Ten players that year.  Of their five leading scores that game, four never played a minute in the NBA, and the one that did was a...
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Tags: team, team players, vgm

Healthcare Trends during the Pandemic

More updates on Healthcare during the Pandemic

Posted On: September 8, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, VGM

The business of healthcare continues to face serious headwinds as a result of the pandemic.  A few newsworthy developments:  A recent Kaufman Hall analysis found hospital and health system operating margins were down 96% in 2020 (through July) as compared to same period of 2019.  A meaningful amount of that decline was offset by government intervention and financial support.  But even after all stimulus and support aid from the government, hospitals and...
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Tags: DMEPOS, future, health, trends, mega-trends, healthcare, hme, vgm