Oct 15, 2017 07:00am -
Oct 17, 2017 05:00pm
Las Vegas, Nevada

Event Description

Pre-register through Monday, October 9!


Sunday, October 15


NASL Registration Open

7:30am – 12:30pm

NASL/AHCA Rehabilitation Therapy Symposium

Interdisciplinary rehabilitation of complex patients in a value-based payment environment

This is a separate, ticketed event.  Add-on fee with your NASL Annual Meeting registration is $125.  Registration for this event only is $299 and available here.

Back for a fourth year, NASL and AHCA bring you this important half-day session featuring the most current information on achieving outcomes and managing costs for patients with cognitive impairments. This targeted event will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to assess the rehabilitation potential of patients with cognition issues.  This will include discussion of strategies to more effectively restore function for those with restoration potential, and strategies to transition to skilled and non-skilled maintenance programs for individuals when functional improvement is no longer a realistic outcome.

Click here for Symposium Agenda

Approval for 4.50 CEUs has been requested.

1:00 – 1:30pm


Welcome to Vegas Social

1:30 – 3:30pm


The Changing SNF Part A Payment Model - An Afternoon with RCS-1

This session will feature a slide presentation to educate on the Resident Classification System, Version 1 (RCS-1) model under consideration by CMS, followed by a facilitated discussion on patient and provider concerns and key aspects of the model with a panel of NASL therapy and health IT members who have studied the RCS-1 model. 

Presenter and Moderator:

​Sherill Mason
Principal, Mason Advisors LLC
​Sherill Mason is currently a Principal of Mason Advisors, where she provides strategic planning, program development and operations analysis for post-acute care providers including senior living and nursing home facilities, home health, hospice, long term acute care hospitals, in-patient rehabilitation facilities, and long term care pharmacy.  Previously, Sherill she served as a Vice President to the Marwood Group, a healthcare industry consultant, as Senior Vice President at Sunrise Senior Living and as a Director at KPMG.   Among other current professional activities Sherill currently is a Guest Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  She received her RN diploma and training at the Englewood Hospital School Nursing and a BA in American Studies from Eckerd College. 


Sheryl Buchholtz-Rosenfeld
Director of Clinical Operations,
Zimmet Healthcare Services Group, LLC

Sheryl joined Zimmet Healthcare in 1996, and has been the partner in charge of the firm’s growing clinical consulting team for nearly 20 years.  As a Board Certified Registered Nurse, Sheryl has devoted her career to serving the post-acute care community, remaining at the forefront of regulatory and payment changes for over 40 years. She has been a trainer of the MDS since 1990 and is among the nation’s leading resident-assessment experts.

Sheryl has longstanding relationships with many State and Federal agencies, having worked with CMS and various Medicaid agencies on multiple projects. She was appointed to the Technical Expert Panel established to evaluate the impact of the Medicare Prospective Payment System on provider operations and finances. She was a member of the clinical standards and training team for the Federal DAVE project and a Data Monitor for the Federal STRIVE initiative. She also served as an MDS 2.0/3.0 Manual reviewer, and remains highly engaged in improving the resident assessment process and empowering post-acute nurse managers.


Robert L. Choi, Chief Strategy Officer and Founding Partner, Collain Healthcare, LG CNS Healthcare Solutions
Robert Choi has founded and managed several population health management and technology companies.  He is a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Collain Healthcare, an LG CNS Company, and exclusive commercialization and innovation partner for LG CNS Healthcare Solutions.  His focus includes development and commercialization of next-generation health information platforms and connectivity solutions for the long term post-acute care industry and digital health apps for consumer-connected care including the LG Interactive Virtual CareTM framework.  He has extensive experience in healthcare provider operations across long term, post-acute, community-based care and population health initiatives.  He previously served as a Vice President at Harden Healthcare, a provider to 34,000 patients daily.   He is an active investor and advisor of several healthcare provider organizations, technology startups and investment groups involved in population health, long term post-acute care, concierge medicine and senior housing real estate.  He is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta. 

Leigh Ann Frick
President, Care Navigation Consulting

Leigh Ann Frick has spent her entire 24-year career in the post-acute space, working to ensure clinical integration with compassionate care and compliance at the core of the delivery of rehabilitative services to support operational initiatives.  She started as a treating therapist splitting her time between acute care and skilled nursing facilities.  She quickly realized her passion was teaching and training clinicians about best practices, regulatory compliance, documentation and billing.  She moved through various operational and clinical positions, eventually becoming the Executive Vice President of Rehabilitative Services and then the Chief Clinical Officer for a large therapy provider.  Seeing the opportunity to help a variety of providers handle the need for clinical integration in the changing world of healthcare reform initiatives, she decided to start a consulting practice, with a goal of helping providers along the continuum be successful in this everchanging landscape. 

Peggy Gourgues
​Chief Operating Officer, Reliant Rehabilitation

Peggy Gourgues is Chief Operating Officer of Reliant Post-Acute Care Solutions, where she manages operations for the company’s growing PACN, Reliant Rehabilitation and Reliant Medical Management divisions. Peggy holds an M.A. in Speech Pathology, a Certificate of Clinical Competency in Speech Language Pathology, and has practiced in home health, private practice, skilled nursing and acute care hospital settings. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a member of the Healthcare Compliance Association, and a 2014 Board Member of the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care. Peggy has worked in healthcare management for the past 11 years and joined Reliant in 2004.

Joanne Wisely
Vice President for Regulation and Compliance,
Genesis Rehab
ServicesJoanne serves as Vice President-Legislative Advocacy for Genesis Rehab Services/Respiratory Health Services following six years as GRS Vice President-Regulation and Compliance.  As a speech-language pathologist who has worked in all post-acute settings, as a clinical and operational manager and a health care administrator, Joanne has been actively engaged in clinical service improvements, financial stewardship, statutory compliance and legislation development for over 40 years. Joanne was inducted as 2017 Public Policy Distinguished Fellow for the National Academies of Practice, is a Life Member of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association and currently serves as the State Advocate for Medicare Policy on behalf of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language Hearing Association.  Through participation on CMS Technical Expert Panels (TEPs), CMS Focus Groups and industry work groups, areas of expertise include the Development of Outpatient Therapy Payment Alternative (DOTPA) Project, the Short Term Alternative Therapy Payment System (STATS) Project, CARE Tool Development, Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary in Post-Acute Care, IMPACT Act of 2014, Post- Acute Standardized Assessment, Rehabilitation Therapy Cap Legislation and Skilled Nursing Facility Payment Models.  Joanne was an invited member of the MedPAC Technical Expert Panel addressing Medicare Part B Payment and has represented stakeholder interests through Congressional work groups and committee member collaboration. 


4:00 – 5:00pm

Data Breaches, Hackers & Ransomware: 
Cybersecurity Concerns for LTPAC

As care coordination gains in importance, so does the need for connected health.  Providers need speedy access to patient data, and share an increasing responsibility for securing their systems, medical devices and patient data. Healthcare cybersecurity is an immediate concern that needs aggressive attention.

Get the latest information on best practices to safeguard against the modern threats of data breaches, hackers and ransomware. 


John DiMaggio

Chief Executive Officer, Blue Orange Compliance
John is the co-founder and CEO of Blue Orange Compliance, which provides privacy and security solutions, assessments, remediation, training and guidance that simplifies the complexities around HIPAA and focuses on practical, scalable solutions. A commissioner with LeadingAge’s Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), he has worked as CIO at NCS Healthcare and Omnicare. DiMaggio holds an MBA in Finance from Katz Graduate School of Business and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

5:00 – 6:00pm

Policy Update

Presented by:


Michaela Sims
NASL Policy Counsel
President, Sims Strategies, LLC

For over twenty years, in both the public and private sectors, Michaela Sims has developed and implemented successful strategies that achieve desired policy and political results. Though she has worked in numerous policy areas, Michaela’s main area of expertise is working on health and tax policies overseen by the powerful Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees, and related federal agencies. Named one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists in 2016, Sims has provided critical insight and strategic advice during the development, implementation, and now the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act to many health care industry clients, including hospitals, physicians, long-term care providers, and pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Drawing on her strong ties to Senate centrists, she has developed a reputation as an honest broker with credibility on both sides of the aisle.


Cynthia K. Morton, MPA
Executive Vice President
National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL)

Cynthia Morton is a national expert on Medicaid, Medicare and other public policy affecting the long term and post-acute care sector. Currently, she serves as the Executive Vice President of NASL, where she advocates for her members’ interests. Prior to joining NASL, Cynthia served as the Vice President for Political Affairs for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). In more than a decade with AHCA/NCAL, she represented the long term care profession before Congress, the Washington health care community, and the media.  In 2005 and 2006, Roll Call magazine named Cynthia as one of the leading long term care lobbyists.



NASL Cocktails and Connections Opening Night Reception


Monday, October 16



NASL Registration Open


7:00 – 8:30am

NASL President's Breakfast




NASL Annual Business Meeting

Presentation of NASL 2017-18 Board of Directors


9:00 – 11:30am


NASL Medical Services Committee Meeting


Scott A. Wandstrat, Esq.
Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Scott Wandstrat is a partner in AGG’s Litigation, Healthcare, and Governmental Investigations and Special Matters Practices, chair of the firm’s Electronic Discovery Practice, and serves as the firm’s Technology Partner.

Scott focuses his practice on handling complex business disputes and governmental investigations. An unapologetic nerd, Scott enjoys a well-earned, national reputation as a “go-to” lawyer for electronic discovery issues. His clients and colleagues praise his practical, cost-effective guidance on even the most frustrating aspects of e-discovery. When asked, Scott has attributed his success, in part, to his fluency in Techspeak, Legalese, and (thankfully) plain English. In addition to his work on e-discovery matters, Scott maintains an active government investigation and business litigation practice. He has particular experience in handling commercial disputes, insurance coverage matters, and defending healthcare companies involved in False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute investigations.


9:30 – 11:30am

AHCA Opening General Session and Keynote
Jim Collins, Author of the best-selling Good to Great and Built to Last


11:30am – 3:00pm

AHCA Expo Hall Open


3:00 – 4:30pm 


LTPAC’s Value in Bundled Care

Learn from two experts what accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other value-based arrangements value in their post-acute care partners such as nursing facilities and home health providers, and how what is valued differs per program.  Speakers Dr. David Muhlestein, who conducts research on what the marketplace prioritizes in partnerships with PAC providers, and Michelle Templin, will provide more specific insight on what ACOs value with post-acute care providers and their rehab therapy partners.


David Muhlestein, PhD, JD, Chief Research Officer, Leavitt Partners
Dr. Muhlestein directs the study of accountable care organizations through the LP Center for Accountable Care Intelligence and leads the firm’s quantitative evaluation of health care markets. He is an expert in using policy analysis, predictive modeling, and applied analytics to understand the evolving health care landscape.

David also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and is a visiting fellow at the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative.  In both of these roles he conducts research to translate learnings of high-performing organizations for the benefit of the broader health care system.

Michelle L. Templin, Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Business Development, Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.
In her capacity as VP of Legislative Affairs and Business Development, Michelle Templin oversees all the legislative and grass roots advocacy work that touches MHA’s diverse post-acute care (PAC) membership including: long term care (LTC), home infusion and specialty pharmacies, DME and respiratory providers, and skilled nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation facilities. Her team helps PAC providers navigate the legislative landscape to identify, analyze and advocate on the issues that matter most to their business. 

Additionally, Michelle has led the strategy and management of the MHA ACO Network since its formation in 2013. Working with ACOs, Medicare Advantage Plans and other payers, the MHA ACO Network assists in defining local Payer/PAC engagement strategies and analyzes the value of appropriate PAC utilization across the care continuum. 


4:30 – 6:00pm

NASL IT Committee Meeting


Tuesday, October 17



NASL Registration Open


7:00 – 8:00am

NASL Breakfast


8:00 – 9:00am


Quantifying the IMPACT of Clinical Interventions with the CARE Item Set

The goals of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transitions (IMPACT) Act of 2014 were to improve care, promote health, and support smarter spending.  It is important for clinicians and service provider to be able to articulate the value of their care in these terms.  The CARE Item Set is a standardized patient assessment of functional status developed for use at acute hospital discharge and at post-acute care admission and discharge.  This session will overview a company-wide initiative to implement the CARE Item Set for all patients receiving services in the post-acute care setting.  The speakers will share the results of a study that assessed the value of rehabilitation services in general and the value of biophysical agent use, specifically.


Tracy Fritts, PT, MSPT
Vice President Quality and Outcomes

Consonus Rehabilitation
Tracy Fritts came to Consonus in 1995 as Rehab Director at Marquis Vermont Hills. She’s since served in Area Director positions for Oregon and Washington, and as Director of Staffing. She’s was Regional Vice President of Operations for 5 years, overseeing 51 rehab programs in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. She has now moved into her latest position as Vice President of Quality and Outcomes. Strategic initiatives, financial objectives and clinical outcomes are just some of her responsibilities.

After falling in love with physical therapy while working as a rehab aide, Tracy earned a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Pacific University. She recently completed a fellowship with the Aging Services of Washington Leadership Institute, where in turn she now mentors other candidates.

Amy Hobbs, PT, GCS, CEEAA
Director of Clinical Education
Accelerated Care Plus
Amy Hobbs has worked in a variety of clinical settings over her 20-year career as a physical therapist.  Her professional passion for older adult rehabilitation led her to become a Certified Expert of Exercise for Aging Adults 2010 and an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist in 2013.   Amy has a extensive experience as a clinical mentor and lecturer.  She is currently the Director of Clinical Services for Accelerated Care Plus (ACP).  In her role, she works to ensure excellence in ACP's clinical education, training, and patient outcomes.  Amy is a member of the APTA and a member of both the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and the Academy of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management.

Ellen Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC
Owner and Principal
Rehab Resources & Consulting

Ellen Strunk received her master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and earned her APTA Board Certification in Geriatric Physical Therapy in 1999. Since that time, she has worked in various roles & settings as both clinician & manager/director: hospital; transitional care; Director of rehab for a hospital home health agency; Clinical Consultant, Director of a HH staffing division, and Director of Governmental Affairs for a company providing rehab services in long term care, home health & outpatient settings.

Presently, Ellen is owner of Rehab Resources & Consulting, Inc., a company providing continuing education and consulting services for post-acute care settings. She specializes in helping customers understand the CMS prospective payment systems in skilled nursing facilities and home health settings, and especially how to deliver medically necessary therapy services in these settings. Her experience includes utilizing medical record reviews and data systems to help both inpatient and outpatient therapy providers meet regulatory guidelines. She lectures nationally on the topics of pharmacology for rehabilitation professionals, exercise & wellness for older adults, and coding/billing/documentation for therapy.

9:00 – 10:30am

The Managed Care Payor’s Perspective

Recent former Deputy Executive Commissioner for Medical and Social Services in Texas, Gary Jessee, facilitates a panel of managed care executives and nursing facility providers.  This panel will delve into the value proposition that nursing facilities can bring to managed care plans and what they value in their partnerships with nursing facilities and home health.  Gary will facilitate a panel featuring Francis Kirley, President and CEO of Nexion Health, Anne Rote, President of Molina Healthcare of Texas, Inc. and Tisch Scott, President, Texas Medicaid Plan at Amerigroup.

Moderated by

Gary Jessee
Managing Director, Sellers Dorsey
Former Deputy Executive Commissioner for Medical and Social Services in Texas

Gary Jessee leads Sellers Dorsey’s efforts to build a sustainable and growing practice in the State of Texas by overseeing the firms’ service delivery and outreach, particularly in the area of managed long term services and supports.

Gary is the recent former Deputy Executive Commissioner for Medical and Social Services in Texas, the largest division in the Health and Human Services System. In that position Gary oversaw four departments and a $50 billion budget, bringing together client services, including eligibility services, Medicaid/CHIP services and functions, and community programs under one coordinated division. Prior to this, Gary served as the State Medicaid Director where he was responsible for overseeing services and supports for more than four million Texans across the state. He also previously served as the Chief Deputy Director for Program Operations in the Medicaid/CHIP Division. 


Francis P. Kirley
President and Chief Executive Officer, Nexion Health
Fran Kirley has more than 32 years of acute and long-term healthcare management experience and is actively involved in all levels of the profession. He oversees skilled nursing facilities in Louisiana, Texas and Colorado.  Currently, he serves as the AHCA-PAC Chairman and is a board member of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, Elms College and the Warfield Development Center in Sykesville, Maryland. Mr. Kirley is a former AHCA board and Executive Committee member and former board member of the Texas Health Care Association.

Anne Rote
President, Molina Healthcare of Texas, Inc.
Anne Rote is a senior managed care executive with over 25 years of experience in the development and ongoing operation of health care programs to support individuals covered by Medicaid and Medicare.  In her current role as Plan President of Molina Healthcare of Texas, Ms. Rote is responsible for the daily operations of Molina’s Texas business, serving over 480,000 members enrolled in government programs including Medicaid, Medicare, MMP, and Marketplace.  Anne earned an undergraduate degree in economics, political science and policy studies from Rice University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.  Anne resides in Dallas, Texas where she is a sustaining member of the Junior League and an active volunteer for the North Texas Food Bank.  Anne’s passion is serving the underserved.

Greg Thompson, Regional Vice President & COO, Texas Plan
Amerigroup Corporation

Greg Thompson currently holds the position of Regional Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, TX Health Plan, serving approximately 800,000 members (Medicaid, CHIP, ABD/LTSS/IDD populations) in 11 of the 13 service delivery areas across Texas.   Prior to his current position, Greg has served Amerigroup Texas as the SVP of Medicaid Strategy & Initiatives responsible for execution of critical initiatives and strategy development.  Greg has also served as the Regional Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Lubbock Health Plan for Amerigroup where he was responsible for strategic leadership, provider relations, operations, marketing, and finance activities. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, Greg is seasoned in process improvement initiatives. 

With more than 16 years of healthcare experience, Greg has served in several leadership positions for a variety of managed care and healthcare organizations such as FirstCare Health Plans, Covenant Health System, and UTSouthwestern Medical Center.  


11:00am – 2:00pm

AHCA Expo Hall Open


2:30 – 5:00PM


NASL Board of Directors Meeting


Wednesday, October 18

8:30 – 10:30am

AHCA Closing General Session and Keynote
Mike Rayburn, award-winning speaker, entertainer and guitar virtuoso



Join us in thanking the Sponsors of the NASL 28th Annual Meeting




ONR, Inc.


ONR, dedicated to patient care with its primary focus on the return home with a renewed quality of life.



































Cancelation Policy:

  • Cancelations received on or before October 9, 2017 will receive a credit toward a future meeting for the paid registration fee, minus a $50 processing fee.
  • Credit issued for a canceled registration must be used within one year, and will be forfeited if not used within that time. 
  • Credits are transferrable to another employee of the NASL member company.
  • Credit will not be issued for cancelations received after October 9, 2017.


Event Type:Conference
Category:Annual Meeting
Early registration ends on Jun 29, 2017.
Regular registration starts on Jun 30, 2017 and ends on Oct 14, 2017.
Late registration starts on Oct 15, 2017.
(GMT-07:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)