Confirmed Speakers

Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Eric D. Hargan is the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is the largest department in the federal government, and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the American people. As Deputy Secretary, Hargan is the Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the department in addition to leading policy and strategy development. Hargan was sworn into office as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on October 6, 2017. He immediately served as Acting Secretary of HHS from October 2017 to January 2018. From 2003 to 2007, Hargan served at HHS in a variety of capacities, including holding the position of Acting Deputy Secretary. During his tenure at HHS, Hargan also served as the Department’s Regulatory Policy Officer, where he oversaw the development and approval of all regulations from HHS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). He received his B.A. cum laude from Harvard University, and his J.D. from Columbia University Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. In between his tours of duty at HHS, Hargan taught at Loyola Law School in Chicago, focusing on administrative law and healthcare regulations.

Alison Cernich, PhD, ABPP-Cn, Deputy Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Alison Cernich is the Deputy Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health. As Deputy Director, Dr. Cernich assists the Director in overseeing the Institute’s programs supporting research on child development, developmental biology, nutrition, AIDS/HIV, intellectual and developmental disabilities, population health, reproductive biology, contraception, pregnancy, and medical rehabilitation. Prior to this position, Dr. Cernich was the Director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) at NICHD. In her history of public service, she worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense on issues related to traumatic brain injury and psychological health and was a liaison between the two Departments to inform the prevention, care, and long-term follow-up services needed by service members and veterans with these diagnoses.

Susanne Seagrave, PhD, Deputy Director, Division of Institutional Post-Acute Care, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Dr. Susanne Seagrave is currently the deputy director of the Division of Institutional Post-Acute Care within CMS’s Chronic Care Policy Group. Susanne’s division is responsible for both inpatient rehabilitation facility and skilled nursing facility payment policies. Since 2007, she has led the team that works on inpatient rehabilitation facility payment and coverage policies, including the development of IRF regulations to refine the payment system, enhance the accuracy of payments, re-write coverage requirements, and update the 60 percent rule. Prior to joining CMS in 2004, Susanne was the lead analyst for skilled nursing facility payment policy at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

Jim Mathews, PhD, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission

James Mathews, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a nonpartisan federal agency that advises the U.S. Congress on Medicare payment, quality, and access issues. Dr. Mathews has over twenty years of health policy experience and has held a variety of management and analytic positions throughout his career in health policy. Prior to his tenure at MedPAC, Dr. Mathews served as the senior career official in the Office of Health Policy under the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Mathews also held positions at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (one of MedPAC’s predecessor commissions), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS). He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Ben Harder, Chief of Data Analysis, U.S. News & World Report

Ben Harder oversees U.S. News & World Report's portfolio of data-driven patient decision-support tools. Freely available to patients, families and the public at and used by more than 15,000 consumers per day, these tools include hospital rankings and ratings, nursing home ratings, and more than 900,000 searchable online profiles of individual physicians. Harder is a healthcare journalist whose work has appeared in BMJ, JAMA, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Science News, USA Today, the Washington Post and other publications, as well as the anthology Best American Science Writing 2005. He graduated from Harvard University and completed a journalism fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2002. He has been an editor at U.S. News since 2007.

Aaron Tripp, Vice President of Reimbursement & Financing Policy, Leading Age

Aaron Tripp is the Vice President of Reimbursement & Financing Policy at LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services. A member of LeadingAge’s advocacy team, Aaron develops, analyzes, and promotes public policies that allow people to age with dignity and choice. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science from Utica College, a Master of Social Work from Syracuse University and is currently writing his dissertation in public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.



Lane Koeing, PhD, Director of Research and Policy, National Association of Long Term Care Hospitals

Lane Koenig is President and Founder of KNG Health Consulting and Director of the Healthcare Reform and Payment Innovation Practice. He is a healthcare economist with over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. As President of KNG Health Consulting, Dr. Koenig has overall responsibility for the quality and direction of KNG Health’s research. He has led numerous health policy and health economic studies and has published over 20 peer-reviewed studies in journals, such as Health Affairs, Health Services Research, and Medical Care. He earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Kate Beller, EVP for Government Relations and Policy Development, AMRPA

Kate Beller, JD, has served as the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) Executive Vice President for Policy Development and Government Relations since February 2019. In her current role, Beller helps AMRPA identify current and emerging policy issues affecting the rehabilitation industry, including patient access issues, regulatory burdens, IMPACT Act implementation, and the inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) prospective payment system and Quality Reporting Program, among many other issues. Prior to joining AMRPA, Ms. Beller served as a principal at a healthcare-focused consulting/lobbying firm, where she developed and helped lead the legislative and regulatory strategies for post-acute care providers and other entities across the health policy spectrum. She also held positions at AARP and the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living working on long-term care and post-acute care payment and payment access issues. She received her Juris Doctorate at Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree at Duke University.

Robert J. Krug, MD, President and Executive Medical Director, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital

Robert J. Krug, M.D. is the President and Executive Medical Director of Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital located in Hartford, CT.  In addition, he serves as the VP of rehabilitation services for Trinity Health of New England, as well as the PM&R medical director and executive lead for the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Care and Neuroscience Research Center.  Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital is the home of Quinnipiac University’s Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine, which is led by Dr. Krug as the endowed William and Barbara Weldon Chair. Dr. Krug’s current clinical practice focuses on the medical rehabilitation and symptom management of multiple sclerosis and other neuro-rehabilitation disorders with a particular interest in spasticity management. Dr. Krug is currently the Board Chairman of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA).

Sam Fleming, President, Fleming AOD/eRehabData®

Sam Fleming has worked with the rehabilitation industry since 1990 providing services to both individual rehabilitation facilities and the various incarnations of the national trade association for inpatient rehabilitation facilities. His work with providers includes reimbursement policy interpretation and hospital performance optimization. Sam designs and builds industry-wide econometric models of Medicare policy and performs industry-wide data analysis and outcomes interpretation for the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association. As the President of Fleming-AOD, Inc. his responsibilities include policy analysis, advocacy and education, as well as the design, construction, maintenance and development of the AMRPA’s outcomes systems: eRehabData®.