EMPLOYMENT

Mark Hobratschk has devoted nearly 20 years to expanding healthcare access for persons with costly disorders.  Mark started out at Wyoming Medicaid, the nation's most rural state where beneficiaries face great obstacles to care, especially for specialty services that could only be provided out-of-state.  He directed health reform taskforces that proposed moving beneficiaries into private plans and developed standards for selectively contracted providers.

This state-level experience led Mark to direct the reimbursement efforts of Cochlear Americas, the world's largest manufacturer of cochlear implants, a costly medical device to restore hearing for those with near total deafness.  He quickly obtained a landmark federal agency decision that mandated Medicaid coverage for those under age 21, a decision that literally opened the world of hearing to thousands of children nationwide.

Mark has since directed advocacy efforts for the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), representing aduiologists and speech language pathologists, and the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), representing medical products suppliers.  At ASHA, he expanded coverage for hearing services by all payers, including securing new billing codes for cochlear implants and speech therapy.  As Director of Government Relations for HIDA, he lobbied Congress and federal agencies for greater coverage of a wide array of equipment, including home oxygen, diabetes supplies, wheelchairs, and nebulizers.

Mark continues his government relations and advocacy work on behalf of those with a wide array of rare and chronic disorders.  During college and graduate school, he worked in hospital emergency rooms and as a research assistant evaluating homeless programs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

EDUCATION

Mark received his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver, where he spent a year as a student attorney representing clients in the Civil Rights and Disability Law clinic.  He received the highest grade in two classes for research on how courts have misapplied traditional trademark laws to the Internet and allowed the federal government to engage in civil rights abuses following 9-11 that were worse than those witnessed in the McCarthyism eara of the 1950s. 

In 1992, Mark was awarded a Master in Public Administration (health policy track) from the George Washington University where he studies comparative health systems.  As part of this program, he spent a semester at Curtin University of Technology outside of Perth, Western Australia researching the use of American style case-mix based reimbursement in the Australian national health system.

PERSONAL

For over ten years, Mark donated his time and resources assisting disabled persons with health insurance claims or appeals.  He also spent over six months volunteering for the Pinellas County Guardian Ad Litem program where he worked on novel parental rights cases involving psychotherapy privilege, child-selling, and infant simulators. 

Mark's father is a retired Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor.  His uncle and both grandfathers were also LCMS pastors, with his maternal grandfather serving as a missionary in Santa Catarina, Brazil before and during World War II.  For over ten years, Mark served as a high-school youth counselor for several Lutheran churches and twice worked on LCMS Servant Events repairing homes in rural Appalachia. 

Mark has traveled to over 20 countries and every state but Alaska, as well as lived in the south, northeast, mountain west, and briefly abroad.  As a result, he is very understanding and tolerant of different cultures and traditions.  He speaks both conversational German and Spanish.

Mark and his wife Sandra live in the Tampa Bay area.

Article published by Mark Hobratschk in Home Care magazine
Public comments submitted by Mark Hobratschk to HHS Secretary on behalf of HIDA