Meet Our Consultants
As specialists in the business of medicine, we excel in identifying opportunities for profitability and guide our clients through the many complexities inherent in starting, growing and maintaining a successful healthcare business. With nearly 20 years’ experience helping healthcare organizations improve their operational, financial and strategic performance, Catalyst provides comprehensive solutions for complex business challenges. Virtually every medical specialty is represented within our client base.
THE CATALYST EXECUTIVE CONSULTING TEAM
Tamra Swindoll is a respected resource in the healthcare industry, working closely with physicians, ancillary groups, dentists, hospital systems and payer organizations since 1988. Tamra’s strong networking and negotiating skills combined with an extraordinary understanding of the logic, mechanics, and political environment of the healthcare industry provide a distinct advantage for our clients.
Prior to founding Catalyst, Tamra held executive positions with several Fortune 500 healthcare organizations where she was responsible for new medical market development, physician recruiting, sales, strategic planning, and contract negotiations. This experience provided Tamra with a diverse perspective on the complexities of developing and operating a successful health care business. Recognizing the need for physician, ancillary and hospital groups to have specialized business representation on an outsourced basis, she founded Catalyst Consulting in 1998.
Since then, Catalyst has become recognized as an established, valuable resource in the medical community. Renowned for a high standard of excellence in service and support, Catalyst has launched hundreds of new medical businesses and provided ongoing management solutions to ensure clients’ profitability and ongoing improvement in a rapidly changing environment.
Gary Piefer, MD, MsMM, CPE, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Gary Piefer is a noted healthcare leader and innovator with a breadth of
experience in highly effective medical management, physician leadership,
medical practice transformation, team building and change leadership. Prior to Catalyst, Dr. Piefer served as Chief Medical Officer of Evolent Health and WellMed Medical Management, as well as serving in senior management positions with the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin and Travis Physician Associates.
As Chief Medical Officer at WellMed Dr. Piefer provided the vision and oversight for implementing a transformational redesign of the Disease Management program which served over 50,000 patients ultimately achieving the triple aim of improved clinical outcomes, decreased per capita cost and improved patient experience. The effort gained WellMed national recognition from the non-profit DMAA: The Care Continuum(Disease Management Association of America), one of the nation’s leading advocates for the promotion of effective disease management, chronic care and preventive healthcare.
In his roles as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Piefer has been responsible for
transforming medical management and physician practice operations as well as the design, development and implementation of a chronic care delivery model focused on integration and care coordination. He has also guided the
development of a complex case management and quality improvement program for the management of chronic disease.
Dr. Piefer is a graduate of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, The
University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and The University of Texas at
Dallas School of Management. He is currently a Fellow with the American
Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Physician Executives.
He has served in several capacities at the local and state level for the Texas
Academy of Family Physicians and speaks regularly to organizations regarding the critical competencies required to develop, lead and govern a successful
physician enterprise entering the arena of value based care.
Patrick Boyle has a distinguished and extensive career in managed care contracting. Patrick has worked with a wide range of medical groups, including; physicians, 501a’s, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), imaging facilities, and other ancillary providers. He also has experience working with Independent Physician Associations (IPA), Physician/Hospital Organizations (PHO), and Management Services Organizations (MSO).
Patrick has also completed contracts negotiations for practice mergers of many specialty groups, including contracting for very large multispecialty 501a organizations across Texas.
Patrick is well connected with all major payers and many small and regional plans as well. He has established relationships with many of the health plan Medical Directors and provider relations representatives across the region.
Patrick holds a BA in Health Care Administration from Texas State University.
Value Based Care Specialist
Kiren Giandara brings to Catalyst more than two decades of experience working as a leader with payers, providers and employers in public health, as well as with direct clinical care. Kiren is a change agent who specializes in strategic financial, clinical, and operational solutions for optimized design and implementation of accountable care and managed care. Kiren offers Catalyst clients an opportunity to structure and implement value-based reimbursement strategies by achieving efficient, profitable and patient-focused healthcare systems for successful clinical integration of value-based care.
Kiren is highly skilled at helping navigate the development of value-based care strategy, and provide business evaluation and optimizations. From employer care model redesign, integrated delivery network operations and management, care management and care coordination to physician engagement strategies and revenue strategy optimization, Kiren is a powerful asset for medical practices from independent solo practitioners to large group practices.
Carol Gibbons RN, BSN, NHA
Service Delivery Specialist
Carol Gibbons brings 30 years of nursing and healthcare management experience to Catalyst. She provides practice management oversight for Catalyst’s clients, with emphasis on improving operational efficiency, effectiveness and cash flow. She has worked with physician practices, hospitals, surgery centers, ancillary providers and is very experienced with workflow improvement and the integration of technology to streamline processes.
Prior to consulting, she was the COO of a Maryland healthcare company and was integral to their expansion to multiple sites including the largest for-profit nursing and rehabilitation center in the state. She developed management structures for multiple sized operations and strategies to increase revenue in a diminishing reimbursement environment.
Director of Contracting & Credentialing
Zachary Ragsdale has a renowned career in managed care credentialing, working directly with medical groups, physicians, hospitals, Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs), and more. As a former Credentialing Supervisor for the nation’s largest Medicaid payer and Fortune 100 company, Zachary brings health plan credentialing expertise to Catalyst; including expansive knowledge of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Primary Source Verification (PSV), and individual state credentialing and recredentialing requirements for several states throughout the nation.
Zachary’s background in personnel and account management, as well as his longstanding relationships with Provider Relations Specialists and Network Managers for numerous Managed Care Organizations make him an integral part of the Catalyst team.
Zachary holds a BA in Healthcare Administration from Texas State University.
For over 25 years Tuck has worked as a creative director and writer at a variety of award-winning advertising agencies such as GSD&M in Austin and Young & Rubicam in New York City. His career has centered on creating messaging, branding strategies and communication campaigns for a variety of regional clients such as, Methodist Hospital of San Antonio, St. David’s, Seton and Brackenridge hospital of Austin.
In addition, Tuck has created messaging and advertising campaigns for national clients such as, Whole Foods Markets, Citibank, Southwest Airlines, Japan Airlines, Shiseido Cosmetics, Colgate Palmolive, Smirnoff Vodka Sony Entertainment, and Dell Computer. Tuck serves as a marketing advisor and strategist for select Catalyst Consulting clients.
Awards:• Clio Award • National Addy Award • International TV and Film Festival Award of New York • Life Communicators Award for Insurance marketing
Rob T. Hardy FACHE, CMPE
Practice Assessments, Management, Business Strategy
Rob began his career in healthcare after becoming an Austin EMS paramedic in 1977 following completion of his BS degree at the University of Texas. After 11 years in EMS, he went into the public health field at the Texas Department of Health. After completing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration in 1992, he then started a long and varied career in administration. Having held various C level positions at Austin Diagnostic Clinic, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and Surgicenter, Scott and White, Austin Pathology Associates, King’s Daughters Clinic, and Advanced Pain Care, Rob has also served as a consultant and interim administrator in such varied settings as a critical access hospital and rural health care clinics.
Board Certified by both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Medical Practice Executives, he is currently working in the consultant field, helping physicians and administrators make sense of the ever changing world of modern health care. A PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Texas, he is a believer in lifelong learning. He is married to Carol, another UT grad, and they are the proud parents of Helen, a Master’s candidate at Middle Tennessee State University and a Texas A&M graduate, and Jonna, a sophomore at Baylor. A cowboy at heart, he is known for wearing exotic boots, Texas themed ties, and not taking himself too seriously.
Shannon S. Jackson CCS-P,
CPMA, CHC, AHIMA-Approved
Shannon has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry with the last 15 years focused primarily on coding and education to both providers and administrative staff. Shannon worked in a large healthcare organization for 15 years managing the revenue cycle for over 500 providers, including physicians, residents, and non-physician practitioners, of a large multi-specialty group.
Shannon was responsible for the coding and billing services, staff education, office manager education, chart audits, physician education, and financial reporting. Shannon has since worked as a consultant offering chart audits, coding education, coding services, and ICD-10-CM training to groups large and small. Shannon’s focus is to educate providers on accurate and supportive documentation for services provided to guide financial success.
Mario Di Blasi, CEPS
Mario brings vast experience in leadership roles with payers, including work with providers and healthcare start-ups. providing a uniquely well-rounded perspective on healthcare.
With expertise in overall employee benefits, value-based reimbursement, bundled payments, business development, marketing, self-funding, direct to employer contracting, product design and communications, Mario is exceptionally well-qualified to lead new entrants and their services to the market.
Mario is a graduate of Florida State University, BS, Risk Management and Insurance. He is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. Continuing studies include Executive Leadership, Cornell University, and Healthcare Management, Rice University.
Daniel Nelson is responsible for project management and provider enrollment with Catalyst. He has experience working in various healthcare settings, giving him a perspective from different vantage points.
During his early years, he managed a dental clinic specializing in insurance contracting, credentialing, billing and communication. He later worked in the healthcare insurance industry gaining valuable insurance experience. He has also gained experience through working in a large hospital system and later as an insurance specialist for a primary care facility.
Sophia Velasco Aguirre
Provider Credentialing Specialist
Sophia is responsible for organizing and managing the credentialing and contracting processes for physicians and providers and acts as a liaison between clients and government payors as well as commercial health plans.
Sophia maintains great relationships with many of the Network Managers and Provider Relations Representatives for health plans and networks, large and small across the state, as well as regional Independent Physician Associations and Physician Hospital Associations. Her attention to detail and her organization and follow through of these critical processes is a valuable asset to the Catalyst team and to our clients.
Sophia holds a BA in Healthcare Administration from Texas State University.
Cathy Bowden MHA, CPCS,
CPC, CPMA, CHISP, CH-CBS
Lead CVO Consultant
Cathy is a proven professional adept at prioritizing and completing multiple projects within strict budgetary/time restrictions. She has 25 years of extensive accomplishments as a healthcare leader and is extremely knowledgeable in credentialing and privileging, billing and coding, compliance, and documentation auditing. Cathy has been a qualified leader in the area of primary source verification for health system and hospitals and is adept at developing and maintaining professional standards, procedures, and policies for various institutional activities. She has proven successful in analyzing an organizations' critical support requirements, identifying deficiencies and opportunities and developing innovative solutions for improving productivity.
Cathy has a Masters in Healthcare Administration with a Minor in Information Systems from Ashford University. She is a Certified Provider Credentialing Specialist (CPCS), Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA), Certified Health Informatics Systems Professional (CHISP), the American Society of Health Informatics Managers (ASHIM), and is Certified in FQHC Billing & Coding as a Community Health Billing and Coding Specialist (CH-CBS).
Provider Credentialing Specialist
As a Provider Credentialing Specialist and Project Manager for Catalyst Lisa is responsible for several internal administrative functions. Lisa joined Catalyst in 2009 and has developed and customized internal processes, controls and systems for use in Catalyst’s credentialing department.
Her background in executive assistance and administrative management positions lends her a skill set in organization, customer service and attention to details.
Lisa holds a B.A. in journalism from Sam Houston State University.
Catalyst Consulting Media Contact
Lynne Perry is a creative marketing consultant who brings more than 20 years' experience in marketing, advertising and professional event production to Catalyst Consulting. In addition to producing post-graduate CME programs, Lynne has produced websites, and created social, digital and traditional marketing campaigns for medical, retail and B2B companies throughout the US. Lynne provides writing, editing and research support for various Catalyst Consulting projects.
In addition to her marketing expertise, Lynne has also served her community as a farmers' market advocate; a school and civic volunteer; and professional liaison for the city and historic district businesses.
Lynne is Catalyst Consulting's Media Contact, and is special advisor to select Catalyst Consulting clients.
Onboarding Coordinator, Consultant Laboratories
Kevan has been associated with Catalyst for many years in various roles. She has had an extensive career in medical sales and consulting, ranging from Fortune 100 Companies to start-ups. Beginning at Johnson & Johnson, she learned to appreciate the diverse experiences of all types of physicians and Healthcare Professionals. Among the many specialties she has worked with are: pathologists, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, emergency medicine physicians, intensivists, gastroenterologists and family physicians. Her responsibilities have included working with national and corporate accounts, medical centers and distribution partners.
As one of our onboarding coordinators, Kevan helps our clients in the initial process of our credentialing work. She is also the first contact in our organization regarding any laboratory questions.
Kevan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. She resides in San Antonio, TX. A lifelong volunteer, her efforts presently are focused on spreading literacy throughout South Texas. She is a co-chair of the San Antonio Book Festival, the signature program of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.