Focus Conference 2023 Recap: Bringing the Women’s Health Community Together

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Focus Conference 2023 took place from Feb. 4-6, 2023, and Essentially Women was so delighted at the high levels of energy, excitement, and engagement among all the attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. The apparent sense of “normalcy” was certainly felt, something that hasn’t happened since before the pandemic. From the spot-on education sessions to an immersive exhibit hall and amazing networking and social events, EW truly feels that attendees learned best practices for growing their women’s health businesses.

Education Sessions 

Focus 2023 consisted of a robust education schedule that allowed attendees to experience all sessions.  

“Our lineup of education is typically top-notch at Focus, but this year these sessions were extremely well-received by attendees,” said Nikki Jensen, VP, Essentially Women. “We heard so much great feedback how much everyone enjoyed the education and how it’s applicable to their businesses; it’s what they need to know.” 

One session that was especially popular was “Staying Above the Standards” by Kelly Grahovac, General Manager, The van Halem Group. This session covered the importance of meeting supplier standards, maintaining appropriate accreditation guidelines, and understanding the state licensure requirements. During this session, a question came up regarding hours of operation vs. "by appointment only." She has gotten clarification from the director of provider enrollment at Palmetto GBA to ensure the correct answer. Click here to read this clarification.

Other sessions consisted of topics ranging from best practices for mastectomy fitting and lymphedema compression, accreditation and certification, maternity market, pelvic floor health, payer contracts, supplier standards, and Medicare requirements. 


Ruth Addison Award of Excellence 

On Sunday, Feb. 5, Patsy Taylor was announced as the 2023 Ruth Addison Award of Excellence winner. Patsy is a Former Boutique Coordinator, Magnolias Breast Health Boutique in Augusta, GA. The impact she’s made within the community and the women’s health industry is truly one to be admired. The finalists of this award were also recognized during the ceremony, including Carol Poole, owner and CEO of A New You Pink Boutique in Brandon, FL, and Ramona Hertzell, CFm and owner of Second to Nature in Greensboro, NC. 


Networking and Social Events 

Like every Focus Conference, attendees were able to have some fun during the social events that occurred, including the following: 

  • Noontime Networking: EW members, speakers, and vendor partners came together for lunch and enjoyed some great food, icebreakers, and engaging discussions. 
  • EW Sunset Soiree: After a full day of sessions and networking at the exhibit hall grand opening, attendees were invited to unwind with an evening of refined taste full of friends, food, and fun under the tent on the beach.  
  • Monday Morning Mimosas in the Exhibit Hall: Back by popular demand, attendees enjoyed breakfast with a mimosa in hand while exploring the exhibit hall and spending some quality time checking out the hottest products offered by EW’s vendor partners.   


“Every year, Focus Conference strives to provide a unique and meaningful event to provide everyone with some key takeaways to bring back to their women’s health business, and I feel we accomplished that again this year,” said Jensen. “The energy this year was so palpable throughout the entire conference, and the engagement from attendees and presenters alike was wonderful. We can’t wait for everyone to come together again for Focus Conference 2024.” 

Thank you to all who attended, presented, or exhibited at Focus Conference. We look forward to seeing you in 2024! 

Question Clarification from Focus on Hours of Operation vs. "By Appointment Only" 

Question: Can you clarify what is covered under the provision below? Does custom include fitting patients for custom breast prostheses? 

Answer: A mastectomy fitter would not be exempt, but if O&P personnel are working with custom O&P and list breast prostheses as a product, they would be considered exempt. Supplier standard 30 requires suppliers to be open to the public a minimum of 30 hours per week, with exceptions for physicians, practitioners, and suppliers working with custom-made orthotics and prosthetics.  

To qualify for the exemption regarding custom-made orthotics and prosthetics, the supplier must indicate, in section 2-D of the 855-S, one or more of the following products: Breast Prostheses and/or Accessories; Cochlear Implants; Diabetic Shoes/Inserts Custom; Eye Prostheses; Facial Prostheses; Limb Prostheses; Ocular Prostheses. The only other products that can be provided with the above and still qualify for the exemption, are non-custom or prefabricated orthotics and prosthetics.

DMEPOS Supplier Standards 

Except as specified in paragraph (c)(30)(ii) of this section, is open to the public a minimum of 30 hours per week. 

(ii) The provision of paragraph (c)(30)(i) of this section is not applicable at a practice location where a - 

(A) Physician whose services are defined in section 1848(j)(3) of the Act furnishes items to his or her own patient(s) as part of his or her professional service; 

(B) A physical or occupational therapist whose services are defined in sections 1861(p) and 1861(g) of the Act furnishes items to his or her own patient(s) as part of his or her professional service; or 

(C) DMEPOS supplier is working with custom-made orthotics and prosthetics. 

If you have any additional questions regarding this policy, you may contact Kelly Grahovac at [email protected]


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