Cuervo leaves AAH staff

Thursday, September 30, 2004

WASHINGTON - Asela Cuervo, an industry stalwart since she came on as NAMES’ director of regulatory affairs in 1996, has left her position as AAHomecare’s senior vice president and general counsel to open her own law office.

For the immediate future, Cuervo will continue to work for AAHomecare on a consulting basis.

“Certainly there is no paucity of issues for the association. Everyone is working very very hard to address all of them,” said Cuervo.

The association plans to find a replacement for Cuervo, according to AAH spokesperson Michael Reinemer.

Past AAH chairs say one of Cuervo’s great strengths lay in her ability to distill and interpret federal language from any source, from legislation or to a DMERC program memorandum.

“She was able to give us significant insight into what the legislators and regulators were trying to accomplish,” said Tim Pontius, current chair of AAHomecare. “That would help us structure remarks so we’d have more impact than we would have otherwise.”

As AAHomecare chair in 2000-2001, Don White valued the depth of Cuervo’s ability to develop the right play on regulatory affairs.

“When [Medicare] wanted to move bi-level from a frequently serviced item to a capped rental item, she was very instrumental in developing a policy to prevent that from coming to pass,” said White. “That was going to have a devastating impact on our industry, and she helped prevent that from happening.”

At the Law Offices of Asela M. Cuervo (202.496.1281), Cuervo expects to focus on compliance and regulatory issues - “certainly any kind of issues involving the DMERCs, audits, advice on contracts, coding, coverage - really the gamut of things we’ve been looking at for our members at AAHomecare but on an individual basis.”