Williard Earns Promotion in Recognition of Payer Relations Achievements

April 18, 2024

AAHomecare is proud to announce the promotion of Laura Williard to Senior Vice President of Payer Relations, reflecting her leadership in guiding the Association’s highly impactful payer relations efforts.

“When we brought Laura on board to launch our payer relations program, I was very confident we were making a smart hire—but her contributions have proven to be even more significant than I expected,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare President & CEO. “Laura has made AAHomecare a force in advocating for HME at the state level and has increased our industry’s capacity to influence reimbursement rates, regulations, and access to care for patients served by Medicaid and a wide range of major non-Federal payers. Our payer relations work is an absolute success story, and Laura Williard is at the center of it.”

Since joining AAHomecare in May 2016, Williard has focused on educating and connecting HME leaders to develop strategy and effective advocacy practices when engaging state legislators, Medicaid directors, and administrators at managed care plans and private insurance payers.

Working with HME state/regional association leaders and members of AAHomecare’s Payer Relations Council, Williard has been at the forefront of efforts to protect and bolster Medicaid reimbursement rates and allow suppliers to effectively care for patients across all payer categories. One of the most notable achievements under her leadership were efforts in 2019 to convince nearly 30 states to forgo or limit potential Medicaid rate cuts stemming from provisions in the CURES Act, using our guidance for implementing that legislation, instead. This advocacy work was the building block for relationships with Medicaid leadership across the country.

“I am gratified by the trust and support that so many people have given me to build an effective payer relations program for our industry,” said Williard. “I have been fortunate to have such remarkable expertise, strategic thinking, and passion for HME for me to draw on from our Payer Relations Council and other leaders in the industry. When you get to work with sharp people who have a strong sense of shared purpose, that’s a recipe for success.”

“We have some major challenges ahead of us for the remainder of 2024, and beyond,” adds Williard. One thing we’ll be focusing on is making AAHomecare and the HME community a highly trusted source with payers on fair medical policy, ensuring access to care for DME/CRT products, and increasing the visibility for the value our care delivers across the full spectrum of health care. Making an impact on Medicare Advantage policies for NIV and CRT that are leading to unfair delays and denials of care is also a priority.”

“My move from a provider role to industry advocate was a natural fit for me,” Williard notes. “I wanted to make a difference at a bigger level and fight the big fights for the industry as a whole and joining AAHomecare made that happen. I’m especially blessed that AAHomecare allowed me to bring on two accomplished HME pros, David Chandler and Alexis Ward, to join that fight, and to win. Our industry’s capacity to educate and engage payers is going to keep growing and that’s going to pay great dividends for all HME stakeholders.”