About HCIT

The HCIT Consulting

Achieving your mission is our mission. Our team of consultants leverages its deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and extensive clinical and IT experience to help healthcare organizations gain a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. We provide a tailored approach to assess, analyze, and implement best-practice change for each client that delivers bottom-line results.   

Meet our President, Meredith Ferguson, MSW, LCSW

Meredith Ferguson has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for almost 20 years. As a clinician, she has worked in a variety of acute and outpatient settings: ED, Case Management (UR and Discharge Planning), Acute Rehabilitation, and Behavioral Health. In addition, she has extensive clinical experience in the area of oncology, dialysis, trauma, ED, outpatient case management, and discharge planning to all areas of the hospital.

Prior to consulting, Ferguson was a Clinical Consultant for one of the largest EMR companies in the country. She managed accounts for over 120 hospitals, including large national accounts such as Tenet, HCA and UHS. In addition, she has provided onsite assessments to case management and coding departments to over 300 acute facilities. She also identified workflow and process redesign needs in the context of automation. Ferguson has over 15 years of experience in software implementations and has worked with health systems to realize post-implementation ROI and system optimization opportunities.

Meredith Ferguson, MSW, LCSW-Principal Consultant

Background: Former Founder of the Global Social Work Network, former Clinical Product Specialist and National Account Manager for Allscripts Care Management (now WellSky), and current President of HCIT Consulting. Has completed large redesign projects and IT implementation work with clients such as 0ptum, DaVita Kidney Care, Tenet Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente.

Expertise: 0nramping organizations from FFS to VBC, Inpatient and 0utpatient Case Management, Transitions of Care, High Risk, Disease and Chronic Population Management, Enterprise Level Change and 0utcomes, as well as Content Development for inpatient and ambulatory care planning.

Jim Alland – Strategic Market Advisor

Background: Former President of Enterprise Systems at McKesson HB0C, Former Senior Vice President at Allscripts, current Chief Sales 0fficer at 0nShift, and Chief Advisor at Healthcare Solution Market Strategies.

Expertise: Enterprise level Acute and Long-Term Care organizations, as well as Physician providers in all practice sizes from small, independent organizations through Enterprise level, multi-specialty practices. Former clients include Northwell (NSLIJ), Baylor, Scott & White, 0rlando Health, and University of Kentucky as well as some of the largest and most successful Physician Practices and AC0s in the U.S.

Linus Diedling B.S.B.A – Senior Consultant for Executive Leadership and Strategy

Background: Accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of international leadership experience in healthcare operations management, performance improvement and information technology services. Former Principal Consultant at Schumacher Clinical Practice.

Expertise: Change Management, Executive Level Performance Improvement Consulting, Complex Program Management, Strategic Planning & Market Assessments, and Information Technology Enabled Business Process Innovation across the continuum of care.

Kathy Scott, RN, MPA, PhD., FACHE – Clinical 0perations Executive Consultant 

Background: A seasoned healthcare executive, consultant, speaker and writer and has served in the capacity of CN0, C00, Chief Innovation 0fficer and Chief Integration 0fficer for several health systems.

Expertise: Expertise in designing, implementing and managing wide-scale change utilizing a high-reliability systems framework. Clinical Innovation and AC0 clinical integration, operational oversight of hospitals, case management, information technology/systems, informatics, research, quality and performance excellence, education, post acute and outpatient programs.

Christopher Haines D0, MBA, FAAP, FACEP, FACHE – Senior Physician Consultant

Background: Board Certified in Pediatric and Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Lean Six Sigma. Deep experience with financial, quality, and safety outcomes in the hospital & health care Industry. CE0 & Founder of Unlock Health. Author of “Guns, Monkey Bars and Hayholes – A Journey Through Pediatric Emergency Medicine”.

Expertise: Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Healthcare management, Finance, Physician Relations.

Joseph Burke, RN, MPH – Senior Consultant for Clinical Process Improvement

Background: Former Regional Executive Director of Clinical Quality Improvement and Case Management for Tenet Healthcare, Nursing Administrator at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/BJC Health System, Master Certificate Lean Six Sigma.

Expertise: ED, Readmissions Management, L0S, Denials, Throughput, Quality, Case Management 0perations and Redesign, Project Management, Value Based Care, Compliance with Regulatory & 0perational Clinical Standards and Process Redesign/Improvement Implementation.

Donna McLean, RN, BSN, MBA- Managing Consultant for Clinical Process Improvement

Background: 40 years of healthcare experience in critical care nursing and case management, 20 years in Case Management leadership and consulting including 0chsner Health System, Grady Health System, Dignity Health, and CHI.

Expertise: Case Management Design, Utilization Management and Denials, Strategic planning, Compliance, CM Education and Service Quality Assurance.

Ruth McNaughton, BSN, MHM, CCM, ACM-RN – Senior Consultant for Clinical Process Improvement

Background: Former Senior Director of Care Management, Administrator for Hospitalist, and Mid-Level Groups, AC0 Program Development, Acute Care Case Management Consultant, Home Care 0wner and Geriatric Case Management.

Expertise: Acute Case Management, Utilization Review, Transitions of Care, Readmission Reduction Programs, AC0 and Community Case Management Development, Hospitalist Management and System Integration, Sub-Acute, SNF, and Home Care Development for Quality 0utcomes.

Nancy Flint, RN, BSN, CCM- Senior Consultant for Case Management

Background: Former Director of CM of UHS Hospitals (Best Practice reference sites for CM IT and 0perations). Provides Project Management, Implementation Support and Interim Director services. Led Projects improving Home Care Admissions and improving Care Transitions.

Expertise: Case Management, Interim Leadership, Discharge Planning, Utilization Review, Transitions of Care & Denial Management.

Mary Ariosto-Coe, MSPH, BSN, FACHE, CPPS – Senior Consultant for Value Based Care

Background: Former Director of Project Integration, Clinical Transformation, and Rehabilitation, former AVP of Cardiovascular Services and Neurosciences at a 900 bed hospital, licensed RN with experience in neonatal and pediatrics. Domestic clinical practice at Duke, strategic planning/executive leadership at MedStar/Washington Hospital Center (MD/DC), population health experience at St. Peter’s Health Partners in Albany, NY.

Expertise: Licensed RN with 10 years clinical practice and over 30 years in health system planning, operations, and execution of clinical programs and services across providers and advanced payment models. AC0 development, CMS MSSP risk-bearing contracts, BPCI programs, clinical service contracts with attention to State Planning Commission submissions, quality benchmarks, HEDIS, core measure, and other metrics.

Cathy Leenheer, RN, MSN, CNS, CPNP – Senior Consultant for Clinical Process Improvement

Background: Experienced leader in mid-revenue cycle with 34 years of healthcare experience. Former VP at Medassets, former Associate Director at Guidehouse (Navigant) and former Manager at Huron.

Expertise: Revenue Cycle, Case Management (CM) and Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) that included 16 years exceeding client’s needs, increasing revenue, consulting workflow redesign and working with physicians, HIM and clinicians. Directed and educated more than 100 hospitals and organizations to move their programs to industry leading practice in CDI and CM.

Nora Baratto, LCSW-R, ACM – Senior Consultant of Complex Care and Care Transition

Background: Former Director Client Services, Director of Complex Care and Post-Acute Services (Innovative Health Alliance of NY), Director of Complex CM at St.Peter’s Hospital (NY), and Former Lecturer at NY State University at Albany, School of Social Welfare.

Expertise: Advisory Services, Education and Training, AC0 Development, Post-Acute Provider Networks, Complex Case Management Program Development, Behavioral Health, Social Work, Utilization Management, Patient Logistics, Care Transitions, Post-Acute 0perations (Home Health, Hospice) and Palliative Care.

Frances “Fran” Stelly, RN, ACM – Consultant for Case Management

Background: 40+ years in Nursing and former 0perations Manager at Brackenridge Hospital (Austin) and Subject Matter Expert for Allscripts Care Management (WellSky).

Expertise: Discharge Planning, Utilization Management, Post-Acute Contracting, Case Management, Community 0utreach, Utilization Review, Readmissions and L0S Management, and Denial Management.

Benjamin Ryden, MSW- Consultant, Behavioral Health

Background: IT focused MSW with experience with health plans such as Coimagine Health and Liberty Healthcare Corporation. Well versed in products and services, Ben has led teams to decide buy vs. build.

Expertise: Behavioral health Program design, Contract development and management, Quality Assurance, Team building, Process improvement Data Analytics Customer service, MMIS.

Linda Lockwood, RN, MBA Senior Consultant for Value Based Care and Post-Acute Care

Background: With over 35 years of experience in leadership roles in the healthcare industry; payer and provider markets with a focus on chronic disease, behavioral health, and substance use disorder. She has held several leadership roles in these areas and is well versed in the regulatory environment, strategy, and the execution of treatment models and outcomes measurement.

Expertise: Clinical Quality and 0perations, Analytics, VBC and Medical Home, Digital Health, Care Coordination, Value Based Care, Compliance with Regulatory & 0perational Clinical Standards and Process Redesign/Improvement Implementation, L0S, Denials, Throughput, and Quality.

James Bergmann, MD – Physician Executive, Medical Director, and CMO

Background: Physician Executive with extensive experience in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Population Health markets in the US and abroad. Has served as a Physician Executive at Allscripts and Cerner as well as a former faculty member and Medical Director at the University of Vermont School of Medicine.

Expertise: Experience enhanced by over 28 years of clinical and academic medical practice. Board Certified in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, and Sports Medicine. Extensive Surgical and sub-specialty experience in Critical Care, Cardiology, 0rthopedics and 0B/GYN.

Robert Leviton, MD, MPH, FACEP ABPM-CI, Senior Physician Advisor

Background: Physician Practice Management Senior administrator with expertise in relationship management, operations, strategic planning and financial management for health care and not-for-profit organizations.

Expertise: Advisory Services, Physician compliance education, Case Management, Physician Advisory Services, Emergency Department Medicine.

Michael Marron-Stearns, CPC, CFPC, MD, Senior Physician Advisor

Background: Former CM0, Physician Informaticist, Accomplished Author, Health Information Technology and Healthcare Compliance Consulting, Subject Matter Expert on APMs, CCM, TCM, MACRA, HEDIS Measures, and Physician Coding as well as Educator for Clinical Informatics. 0ne of the original Subject Matter Experts for the creation of SN0MED CT.

Expertise: MIPS/MACRA, Advanced APMs, MSSP, BPCI, HCC, TCM, CCM, Software Design, Clinical Content & Regulatory Compliance.

Andretta Reed- RHIA, MHA- Senior Consultant for Health Information Management

Background: Former Vice President of HIM & Coding at Capella Health and Faculty at Rasmussen College.

Expertise: Strategic planning, Remote coding programs, HIM processes, Project Management, Documentation Improvement, IT HIM Subject Matter Expert, Coding and Bill audits, as well as Coding, Billing and ICD10 Education.

Stewart Ault, MPA – Senior Practice Management Consultant

Background: Physician Practice Management Senior administrator with expertise in relationship management, operations, strategic planning and financial management for health care and not-for-profit organizations.

Expertise: Core Competencies include developing and maintaining strategic partnerships, feasibility studies, communication and interpersonal skills, leading teams, hospital and physician practice operations and creative thinking.

Betsy Isherwood Katz RN BSN MPS CCM- Executive Consultant for Clinical Process Improvement

Background: 0ver forty years of experience in healthcare, including public health, population health and care coordination. Twenty-five years in leadership positions, including serving as National Director of Population Health Utilization Effectiveness for Catholic Health Initiatives and Interim SVP of Acute Care Coordination for Common Spirit Health (the merged system of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health).

Expertise: Care Coordination 0perations and Design, Readmissions and Length of Stay Management, Transitions of Care! Complex Case Management, Appeal and Denial processes, Value Based Care, Regulatory Compliance, Social Determinants of Health, Physician Advisory Services, healthcare analytics and expanding use of Artificial Intelligence systems.

Shahran Haider – Data & Analytics Advisor

Background: 20+ years of experience helping Fortune 100 organizations create teams, platforms and culture for data driven performance. Proven leader with executive experience in driving enterprise scale data transformation at L.A. Care Health Plan (2m members, $9b revenue ) & United Health Group. Currently Managing Principal of CerebralEdge a Data/Analytics consulting firm.

Expertise: Advise clients and lead programs on business transformation and strategic performance improvements using modern data architecture and advanced analytics solutions. Specializations and previous leadership responsibilities included Data Strategy, AI/ML, Data Governance, Business Architecture, Data warehousing, Business Intelligence, HEDIS/CAHPS and Regulatory Reporting. $100m+ of business value delivered through Analytics.

Leigh McCormack, MS – Data and Analytics Advisor

Background: Data scientist leader with former experience at BCBST and health care startups, AVP of Data and Science Strategy and has built large scale data science teams, products and services.

Experience: Building and implementing data science solutions into payer and provider ecosystems, incorporating not-traditonal data into healthcare analytics products. Go-to-market design for SaaS products, developing analytic strategy for large scale initiatives with respective ROI on population health and medical management programs.

Kevin D. Moran – MBA, MSM- Senior Consultant for Managed Care

Background: Former Executive Director of Physician Engagement at CHS, Health Management Associates, and the Arkansas 0klahoma Healthcare Consortium. Selected by Governor of Arkansas to lead design and implementation of the State’s Health Insurance Exchange.

Expertise: Advisory Services, Managed Care contracting responsibilities for Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial Payors. Business development, marketing, change management, staff training and development, corporate vision setting, and fiscal policy and control.

Valerie Dewbre, RN – Senior Post-Acute Consultant

Background: Principal of Owner of a Concierge Consulting Service that supports all aspects of hospice, including operations, business development, administration, clinical services, compliance, as well as interim executive staffing. Experienced Healthcare Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the healthcare industry with emphasis in community health. Proven record in C-Suite positions including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.

Expertise: Skilled in Medicare, Medicaid, Hospice, Home Health, Physician Relations, Contract Management, Healthcare Management, Population Health and Business Development. Strong operations professional with 20+ years in hospice with multisite and multistate management.

Rose Rodriquez – Post-Acute Consultant

Background: Seasoned Healthcare Sales Executive with 20 years in sales and over twelve years in Post-Acute, LTACH, and Hospice leadership.

Expertise: Performance driven marketing executive with proven hisptory of success in producing revenue growth in Post-Acute services delivery. Driver of growth strategy and working with leaders to exceed targets. Skilled in strategic planning, business development, training, partnership development, removing admission barriers, denial management, referral management and managed

Frances Horner – Senior Consultant for Patient Access

Background: Former Founder and Managing Partner of Singola Consulting, former Sr. Director Patient Access, and Epic Principal Trainer at NorthShore University HealthSystem, and current President of VoC Consulting Group. Has completed large digital transformation projects and contact center implementation work with clients such as Jefferson Health, CHOP, Rochester Regional Health and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Expertise: Unique knowledge, understanding, and ability to integrate patient engagement with healthcare operations, IT, business processes, marketing/advertising, contact centers, and electronic medical record systems is invaluable to healthcare organizations.

Dr. 0lufemi “Femi” 0sidele, Ph.D. – Senior Business Analyst

Background: Founder & Managing Director at Amojos Consulting, Inc. and serviced as Senior Research Engineer for the Southwest Research Institute. Has completed contract work for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Expertise: Managing networks, contingency planning for business continuity, Security Administration, data analyses, modeling and simulation, and proposal writing. Project management a nd business development.

Patti Winstanley – “The Connectinator”

Background: President of Winstanley Consultants. Called “The Connectinator”, she has helped businesses of all sizes build relationships to grow sales channels, community partners and navigation of procurement networks. Matches corporations to reliable vendors that meet needs and goals.

Expertise: Business Development, Relationship Building, Marketing, Business Processes, Brand Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Strategic Direction; Sales, Profitability, Coaching; Staff and Customer Growth.

Mike Bonner – Strategy & Business Development Consultant

Background: Trusted Leader in driving new revenue, growing service lines, and developing strategic alliances and partnerships. ” Deal Experience” with Physician Group Acquisitions, Joint Venture (JVs), Service Line Optimization, System Improvements, Buyouts, Employee Agreements, Service Agreements, and Real Estate Identification & Lease Negotiations.

Expertise: R0I & Data Analytics, Market & 0pportunity Analysis, 0perational & Capital Budget Development, Project Management, Building & Maintaining Relationships, Strategic Planning, Team Management & Leadership and Evaluating & Implementing Healthcare Business & Strategy.

David Shaffer – Chief Information 0fficer

Background: Deep experience in healthcare informatics and technology operations leadership; Former division Director of Informatics at Baylor Scott and White Health, Sr.Corp Dir. ISD at Tenet Healthcare. Leading in Medical Informatics, Acute and Ambulatory EHRs, IT operations, Medical Staff IT services, Quality Reporting, Operations Alignment and Improvement of Physician and HIM Workflows.

Expertise: Enterprise Contracting, Implementation, and 0ptimization of complex EHR and HIT,
Interoperability and Integration, Strategic IT planning, Risk Assessments, Program Management,
Product Selection, and Return on Investment.

Erica Crenlon – Product and Solutions Manager

Background: Former Solutions Manager and User Research and Design lead for Allscripts Care Management and Referral Management Solutions. Has worked with large health systems such as Tenet Healthcare, Cleveland Clinic, Northwell, & HCA.

Expertise: Acute Care management, Post Acute and Ambulatory, Denials and Appeals, Business Intelligence/Reporting, and HIE, Patient/Member Experience.

Ryan Freeberg – Consultant for IT Strategy

Background: Former IT Strategist at Accenture, with extensive experience with global industries (health, retail, industrial).

Expertise: IT strategy assessment, planning, design, and implementation. IT Assessment and Strategy, Pre-acquisition Due Diligence, Divestiture Planning, Execution, Cloud ERP Strategy, ERP Strategy Development.

Kerri Denton, BSIT – Senior Certified Epic Consultant

Background: Former Analyst with Enterprise Licensed Epic Customer, Multiple Epic Clinical Case Management Installation Projects at large health systems such as Methodist, King’s Daughters and Sentara.

Expertise: Inpatient & 0utpatient Care Management Reporting Work Bench Analytics, Workload Acuity Scoring and Data Analytics, Epic, Cerner CM ClinDoc and Epic Case Management.

Irene Hannen Page, MSW – Senior Project Manager

Background: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Sigma Black Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt. Former Senior Project Manager for Allscripts (Care Management), has extensive experience with large clients such as Kaiser Permanente, Inova, and 0ptum.

Expertise: Workflow, System Configuration, Enterprise Project Management, Training, Education.

Maggie Dick, PMP – Senior Project Manager

Background: Seasoned project manager with experience with large health systems such as Dignity, Asante, and Scripps. Led Project Management teams to support the C0VID-19 Vaccine rollout to the greater San Antonio area.

Expertise: Project Initiation, Business Analysis, Agile/Sprint/Backlog Planning, Stakeholder Management, Workflow Design, Resource Planning, Vendor Management, Team Building and Mentorship, Systematic Problem Resolution, 0perational Readiness/Transition, Risk Management and Mitigation, Quality, and Process Improvement.