Johnson takes over Pride’s gov’t affairs

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

EXETER, Pa. - Seth Johnson, who was AAHomecare’s vice president of government affairs, in June replaced Martin Szmal as director of government affairs at Pride Mobility Products.

“We really wanted to give not only Pride but the industry more visibility with CMS and with members of Congress to make sure our issues and concerns are addressed with key individuals in a timely manner,” said Kevin Quaglia, Pride’s general manager of industry relations. “Having that representation in Washington is instrumental.”

Quaglia’s duties at Pride have recently shifted from reimbursement services manager to this new position which will focus on relationship-building with industry coalitions, associations, consumer organizations and other groups. Johnson will focus on legislative and regulatory issues.

Johnson has been with AAHomecare since its inception four years ago. In that time he transitioned from working on in-home health nursing to work on DME policy. At Pride, Johnson will narrow his focus to rehab and mobility issues, where there’s no shortage of work to be done.

On that front, Johnson said CMS is backing off the hard line they’d drawn about consideration of the industry’s expertise as the agency reworks coverage guidelines for power wheelchairs.

“Even three weeks ago there wasn’t any willingness to sit down with the industry and hear what we have to say about how to move forward,” said Johnson. “But through talking to the industry and talking to clinicians they realized that the industry really does have a lot to offer and can provide valuable input.”