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Bachenheimer on the good fight

Bachenheimer on the good fight ‘This industry has so much potential,’ says long-time industry advocate

WASHINGTON ­- Cara Bachenheimer has a new gig that allows her to double-down on her efforts advocating for the HME industry.

Bachenheimer is opening a Washington, D.C., office for Amarillo, Texas-based law firm Brown & Fortunato on June 1, a move that will expand her legislative and regulatory work beyond Invacare, where she has worked for more than 14 years.

Here's what Bachenheimer, who will count Invacare as her first client, had to say about why lobbying is more important than ever before.

HME News: What made your pursue an opportunity outside of Invacare, where you have been senior vice president of government relations for years?

Cara Bachenheimer: I see this as a natural next step in my career. The work I've been doing for Invacare has also benefitted others in the industry, so it's natural to now broaden my representation. I'm continuing to represent Invacare, which I'm really excited about—they're a great company doing great things—but I'm also excited about doing what I do on multiple levels, whether it's for manufacturers, distributors, providers or other entities.

HME: Why is the combination of Bachenheimer and Brown & Fortunato a good one?

Bachenheimer: Their clients may want to get involved in lobbying, and my clients may want legal help, so I really see it as a win-win.

HME: From a lobbying perspective, there's some frustration that the industry hasn't been able to move the needle more toward bid relief than it has. Is the industry's lobbying making a difference?

Bachenheimer: The industry has come so far in the past 25-30 years, in terms of its active participation in lobbying from all sizes and levels. People understand now that it's not critical; it's mandatory. There have been some incremental victories—they may be small, but that's how progress is made. D.C. is very difficult for everybody, not just HME. It's an incredible web to manage and be successful in. I applaud the industry for the huge progress it has made.

HME: You've been at this for a number of years now, and it's been battle after battle. Why stick with it?

Bachenheimer: It's something that I learned from my early law practice days: If you're not excited about what you're doing—if it doesn't feel like you're making a positive difference—it's not worth your time. This industry has so much potential and improves the quality of life for so many people. That's what motivates me. That's what motivates everyone in the industry. It sounds corny, but it's true.


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