Lobbyist: 'Refute these three things'

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WASHINGTON - A Washington, D.C., healthcare lobbyist spelled out what industry stakeholders must do to get a separate benefit for complex rehab during a presentation at CELA in February.

Jennifer Higgins, a principal at Capitol Health Group who counts Invacare as one of her clients, told a crowd of attendees that they must "refute these three things" about the industry: that they're equipment jockeys, that they commit fraud and that they're overpaid.

Higgins had these tips for providers: Help lawmakers understand what you do each day and remind them that complex rehab represents a very small piece of the Medicare pie. She also told them to be patient, because the process of getting legislation introduced and passed is long and hard.

It's no small task, but Higgins likes stakeholders' chances. They've already succeeded in getting complex rehab exempted from Round 1 of competitive bidding and the elimination of the first-month purchase option.

"(This) indicates greater awareness on complex rehab than ever before," she said.