Revenue Cycle Coding & Compliance Solutions Advisory Board
2011 Revenue Cycle Coding and Compliance Advisory Board Members
Mervat Abdelhak, Ph.D., RHIA
Department Chairman & Associate Professor
Department of Health Information Management
School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Pittsburgh,
Dr. Abdelhak is a Department Chairman and Associate Professor of Health Information Management, University of Pittsburgh since 1981. Dr. Abdelhak has served as president (2005) of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), an association of 55+ thousand members. She also served on the Board of AHIMA, 2001 – 2006. She is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Member Award, the highest award bestowed by AHIMA. She was awarded the designation of AHIMA Fellow in November 2006 and is the recipient of AHIMA’s Literary Award in1996. Dr. Abdelhak received the Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association’s Distinguished Member Award in 1989 and the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health Related Professions’ 1991 Distinguished Alumnus Award. She served on the Educational Strategy Committee of AHIMA and co-authored the “Vision 2016: A Blueprint for Quality Education in Health Information Management.” Abdelhak chaired the AHIMA’s Nominating Committee, chaired the Advisory Committee on Workforce Study, and was also Chair of AHIMA’s Council on Research. She also served as a member of the Council of Accreditation, Panel of Accreditation Surveyors, and Council on Coding & Classification. She has served on Editorial Review Boards for the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association, Topics in Health Information Management, and Educational Perspective in Health Information Management. Abdelhak is Managing Editor of the 4th Edition of “Health Information: Management of a Strategic Resource.” She is widely published and speaker. Dr. Abdelhak has served as a consultant nationally and internationally in the areas of education and the practice of health information management, including the electronic health record and standards development.
Donna Barnard, RHIA, MBA
Director, Health Information Management
URMC, Strong Memorial Hospital
Donna Barnard, RHIA, MBA is the Director of Health Information Management for the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. She has held this position for over 10 years and is responsible for the HIM Departments at Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital. Ms. Barnard has been an HIM professional for over 25 years with more than 22 years experience as a Director of HIM. She is Past President of NYHIMA and currently serving on the AHIMA House of Delegates, including as co-chair of the House of Delegates Team on Professional Development and Recognition. Ms. Barnard received her B.S. degree in Health Information Management from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH and her M.B.A. degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.
Patricia Cunningham, MS, RHIA
Chief Technology Officer
Office of Health Information Technology
Patricia Cunningham, MS, RHIA has 22 years of progressive experience in health information management and technology. She is Masters prepared in Health Informatics and a certified Registered Health Information Administrator. She has extensive knowledge in designing and implementing electronic health record systems, operations re-engineering, project management and HIPAA Privacy. Her experience further includes database design, application testing, data compilation, policy/procedure development and strategic planning.
Patricia’s current role is Chief Technology Officer for the State of Illinois’ Office of Health Information Technology. In this role she is responsible for: providing the technology vision and leadership in developing and implementing the State’s Health Information Exchange, overseeing development and implementation of the technical architecture, ensuring integration and interoperability of existing technology in Illinois’ health care sector, and finally, ensuring adherence to federal and state data integrity and privacy and security standards. Patricia was previously employed at Rush-Copley Medical Center as the Senior Director Revenue Cycle Operations, responsible for the Admitting/Registration; Patient Accounts: Health Information Management and Revenue Integrity departments.
Nadinia A. Davis MBA, CIA, CPA, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA
Health Records Services
Nadinia Davis is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Certified in Healthcare Data Analytics (CHDA), and a Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association (FAHIMA). Combined with her accounting background, she has a broad range of skills developed in acute care, rehabilitation, and academic settings.
Ms. Davis is currently the Director of Health Records Services and Privacy Officer for Merit Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ, and an adjunct assistant professor of Healthcare Financial Management in the Health Informatics Department at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She spent 12 years teaching full-time, 3 years at the HIT level and 9 years at the HIA level.
In addition to her employment experiences, Ms. Davis is an author for both AHIMA and Elsevier, co-authoring the award-winning Health Information Technology
for WB Saunders/Elsevier and contributing to AHIMA’s Effective Management of Coding Services
and Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles, and Practice
Robert H. Ekvall, PhD, CCS, CPC-H, CPC
Scripps Green Hospital
Radiation Oncology Unit (MSB1)
Robert H. Ekvall has a PhD in General Psychology, with an emphasis in self-esteem development and conflict mediation. In addition to the following coding credentials: CCS, CPC-H, CPC, Dr. Ekvall had the CPMA credential but chose not to renew it this year. At the present time, he is the HIM Coder II responsible for all the radiation oncology technical charges for Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, California. In 2009, Dr. Ekvall was the President for the Oceanside, CA AAPC chapter and at the present time he is the 2010 Founding President of the Chula Vista AAPC chapter. Dr. Ekvall is a Technical Collaborator and Reviewer for Elsevier working with many of Carol Buck's manuscripts/textbooks. His photo and coding advice for coding students and new coders is in the 2010 Step by Step
textbook and the 2010 The Next Step
textbook. Dr. Ekvall is also a scheduled speaker/lecturer for AAPC's upcoming seminars in May 2010 and October 2010 (San Diego area) and is a featured speaker on ICD-10 with the upcoming AAHAM regional conference in San Diego. He has been a CPC exam proctor for 2009 and 2010 plus have conducted numerous workshops and seminars the past few years at AAPC meetings.
Fran Katz, MBA, RHIA
Director, Ethics and Compliance
Since the tail end of December 2008, Fran has been working in Columbus Ohio for OhioHealth as the Ethics and Compliance Director. (OhioHealth is a multi-billion dollar integrated delivery system in central Ohio.) Just prior to OhioHealth Fran worked in consulting as an Associate Director, for Navigant Consulting, Inc. /HP3. She has twenty years of experience primarily working for large healthcare providers. Former employers include the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, ProSTAT Resource Group based in Overland Park, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, in St. Louis, and SSM Healthcare also located in St. Louis, MO. Fran’s experience has focused on revenue, billing and compliance for both hospitals and physicians.
MBA, Washington University, John M. Olin School of Business, St. Louis, MO
BS, Health Information Management, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO (Magna cum Laude)
Certified Public Accountant - Missouri State Board of Accountancy
Registered Health Information Administrator- American Health Information Management Association
Bridgette Kreuder, RN, CCS
Concurrent Documentation Director of Quality Coding and Appeals
North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System
Bridgette Kreuder is the director of Quality Coding and Appeals for the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New York. With more than 17 years experience in the Health Information Management profession, she is responsible for the development and implementation of system wide coding education sessions for the health systems' coders, clinical documentation specialists, physicians and other hospital staff. Bridgette has an extensive understanding of denials management. Additional responsibilities in her current role include the management of the appeals process for the health systems' Recovery Audit Contractor enterprise. Prior to her current role in the health system, she was a Director of Patient Financial Services at which time she was accountable for the oversight of the outpatient Medicare appeals process and assisted in the creation of a database for the tracking of all rebuttals. She has an extensive knowledge of outpatient charging and charge master maintenance as well as substantial experience in inpatient and outpatient coding audit services. Before working for the NSLIJ Health System, she was employed as a registered nurse in a large tertiary facility on Long Island. She has an undergraduate degree in Nursing.
Elaine Schembari RN, BSN, JD, MBA
Section Head Billing Quality & Compliance
Ms. Schembari started her career in direct patient care nursing after graduating from Boston College School of Nursing. She has worked in nursing in all areas from pediatrics through geriatrics, from acute care hospitals to long term care nursing homes. She has also worked in management in these areas and in collective bargaining for Registered Nurses and as an active member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
In 1997 Ms. Schembari obtained her law degree from New England School of Law. She worked as a consultant and private practice attorney specializing in Health Care Law and Elder Law.
For the last 10 years, Ms. Schembari has been employed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. During this time she obtained her MBA with a focus on Enterprise Risk management. She has worked solely in the charge capture compliance areas at Mayo. Her most current role is as Section Head for Billing Quality & Compliance for Rochester, Florida and Arizona.