Our Story

Program Advisors was born out of a desire to help you succeed.

Program Advisors’ heritage began with the experience and education provided by Founding Partners Scott Leavell and Pat Wulf’s ascendency into Vice President/Partner roles within the Big Four, as well as the discipline of their undergraduate training from Georgia Tech’s engineering programs. While the background and experience were foundational to their focus on serving clients, their ability to do so in a way that they felt proud of was diminished by the challenging post-dot.com era and the transition of E&Y’s consulting partnership to a public company environment when Capgemini acquired it.  Pressures combined that made “producing numbers” a greater focus than serving clients. Both Pat and Scott desired a firm with a focus on delivering high value and quality client service while having the ability to spend more time with clients producing these results.

Scott was the first to make the jump out of the Big Four environment, starting IT Program Associates in the summer of 2002.  After years of working together at Ernst & Young, Pat and Scott had become close colleagues and shared a mutual desire for a closer focus on client service. As the summer of 2003 approached, Pat joined Scott as the second Founding Partner of IT Program Associates. The former colleagues from Ernst & Young and fellow alumni of Georgia Tech set out to create a Firm that followed one primary rule: always do what’s in the best interest of our clients.

In the earlier years, the Firm added clients at a consistent pace and speciality areas arose including strategic planning, contract negotiation, vendor management, operational improvement, and leadership coaching. Even with these specialty services, the Firm’s commitment to custom solutions remained (and still remains) steadfast, with emphasis on developing unique solutions for each client.

With the widening breadth of offerings, Pat and Scott determined that the name “IT Program Associates” no longer matched the Firm’s growing span of capabilities. In 2005, the Firm’s name changed to Health Care Program Advisors. While the name changed, the services and dedication to our clients remains the same.

As our relationships and client base strengthened and grew, Program Advisors began to add team members in a measured manner to ensure consistency with the culture and direction of the Firm. To this day, members are added to our team based on a balanced criterion of professional acumen and fit with the unique culture of the Firm.

Between 2006 and 2009, we grew our team with the addition of several Directors and Senior Directors, expanding into large scale EMR implementations associated with the ARRA of 2009 meaningful use regulations.  During this time we invested heavily in becoming a deep resource for our clients in this area.  Since then we remain a go-to source for compliance issues associated with electronic medical records.

In 2010, we hired our first new college graduate and found these new professionals to be ctitical to our client support. Program Advisors is present and actively recruits on several university campuses. This growth in the size of our team led to our first “brick and mortar” office in 2014.

Between 2010 and 2014, we were heavily involved in developing and implementing strategies for clients around electronic medical records and revenue cycle operations. After many successful EMR implementations, we found that our core engineering skills were in high demand as many of our clients needed assistance with analytics to manage the revenue cycle. In 2015, we expanded our services to analytics and began leveraging our deep subject matter expertise and invested in revenue cycle and business intelligence.

The twilight of the EMR era gave renewed energy to revenue cycle improvement, and Program Advisors is a leading provider of these services. Since 2016, we have substantially grown our delivery capability in revenue cycle operations and revenue systems.  As a result, our revenue cycle team has grown tremendously both in talent and numbers, although we still enjoy a sizeable network of independent professionals in this area.

Recent years have resulted in substantial growth for Program Advisors in numbers and skills.   We expanded our leadership team by adding new Partners to our ranks and expanded our services into strategic and financial planning.

As our Firm develops and expands, we strive to always act in the best interest of our clients, both those we’ve served for two decades and those that we hope to have the honor of serving in years to come. Asked what he’s most proud of, Scott Leavell says, “It’s the longevity of many of our clients; month after month, and year after year we’ve had the privilege to serve a core group of clients.” We are excited about the continuing growth and direction of our Firm.

Scott Leavell

Scott Leavell

Managing Partner

B.S. Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

 

 

Scott founded Health Care Program Advisors in 2002 to focus on delivering advisory services to health and hospital systems. Since HCPA’s founding, Scott has been directly involved in delivering systems and analytics consulting services as the Information Systems lead for HCPA; in addition to sharing management responsibility of the firm with Pat. 

His 30 years of systems leadership includes:

  • Strategic and Tactical Systems Planning
  • Vendor Selection and Contract Negotiation
  • Implementation Management for Technology Enabled Re-engineering Projects
  • Implementation of Business Intelligence and Analytics Solutions
  • Information Technology Effectiveness and Cost of Ownership Optimization
  • IT/IS Transition Management
  • Expert Analysis and Witness for Systems Contract Arbitration and Litigation

He has worked with:

  • Major Academic Institutions
  • Not-for-profit Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • Community Providers
  • Large Physician Practices
  • Managed Care Organizations
  • Medical Equipment and Supply Providers

He started his career in a hospital management engineering department, then joined Coopers & Lybrand to perform operations re-engineering and systems implementation consulting. He worked with Hamilton/KSA and Ernst & Young and served as a Vice President in the Health Information Technology practice of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a certificate in Health Systems Engineering.

Scott is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS) and is active in both the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), serving in official capacities, including speaker for both organizations.

Pat Wulf

Pat Wulf

Managing Partner

B.S. Health Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

MBA Finance, University of Louisville

Pat is a co-founder of Program Advisors and leader of the Revenue Cycle and Analytics practices. In his downtime, Pat is pursuing completion of all five of the World Association of Cycle Event bicycle rides (2 of 5 completed thus far).

Jeff Booth

Jeff Booth

Partner

B.S. Business Administration, Emory University

MBA Finance, Emory University

Jeff is a partner at Program Advisors and the Strategic, Tactical, & Financial Planning practice lead. Jeff played competitive tennis for more than 20 years and was a part of different teams that won two Georgia High School State Championships and four City of Atlanta ALTA team championships.

Steve Roth

Steve Roth

Partner

B.S. Business Administration, Information Processing, The George Washington University

MBA Finance and Investments, City University of New York-Baruch College

Steve is a Partner at Program Advisors and a Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CHCIO) with extensive systems leadership experience at hospitals, integrated health systems, and academic health systems including merger/de-merger planning, strategic, and tactical systems planning. Steve also possesses a commitment to maximizing the performance and longevity of “all things internal combustion” ranging from leaf blowers, lawn tractors, and motorcycles to a near-fleet of aging automobiles.

Judy Barefield

Judy Barefield

Senior Director

Business Administration, University of Illinois

Judy focuses on advisory and project management services around a variety of client systems, processes, and financial improvement imperatives with a focus on Revenue Cycle services. She lived in England for three years and met Prince Charles and Lady Diana at a polo match.

Shannon Hill

Shannon Hill

Senior Director

B.S. Business Management, University of Florida

MBA, Information Systems Management, University of South Florida

Shannon focuses on advisory and project management services around a variety of client systems, process, and financial improvement imperatives with a focus on business intelligence and analytics services. She spends her free time traveling to see her daughter play volleyball and son play baseball.

Darrell Lee

Darrell Lee

Senior Director

B.S. Business Administration, Miles College

M.S. Business Management, Faulkner University

Darrell serves as a subject matter expert for revenue cycle operations, including patient access, pre-service operations, HIM, revenue integrity, coding, billing, insurance follow-up, payment posting, and self-pay. Additionally, Darrell serves as a trusted advisor and partner for health system leadership to assist with making key operation decisions around revenue cycle operations and revenue related decisions. Darrell loves to read and write speeches in his free time.

Leah Milano

Leah Milano

Senior Director

Business Management, Salem State College

Leah’s focus is on revenue cycle with extensive AR management, project, and change management experience along with revenue cycle systems implementation, IT, analytics, and advisory services. Leah loves outdoor adventures and is pursing completion of hiking all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000-foot mountains.

John Stigaard

John Stigaard

Senior Director

B.S. Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

MBA, Georgia State University

John focuses on healthcare information systems, analytics, and operations improvement. John met his wife of 20+ years at the Health Information and Management Systems Society annual conference.

Scott Werkstell

Scott Werkstell

Senior Director

B.S. Avionics Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Scott is a senior director consultant with HC Program Advisors, focusing on advisory services and program management IT and operations. Scott previously worked for NASA on the International Space Station project.

Brittany Leggett

Brittany Leggett

Business Manager

B.S. Accounting & Finance, Kennesaw State University

Brittany serves as the Program Advisors Office Manager, responsible for all financial and daily operations. Brittany is a classically trained singer and has performed in shows all around the Southeast.

Brittany Wulf

Brittany Wulf

Director of People Operations

B.S. Business, Georgia Institute of Technology

M.A. Organizational Psychology, Columbia University

Brittany builds and leads all people operations for the company, including recruiting, training and development, compensation analysis, employee engagement, performance management, organizational planning, and team development and effectiveness. She has lived and taught English in Ecuador!

Drew Fithian

Drew Fithian

Manager

B.S. Operations Management, University of Alabama

Drew has more than six years of healthcare experience, primarily involving revenue cycle management and operations. He also brings consulting experience in healthcare data analytics, revenue cycle operations, and systems selection to the company. You can usually find Drew grilling something on his Green Egg with his Golden Retriever, Marlow (and his wife, of course).

Lauren Gess

Lauren Gess

Manager

B.S. Health Information Management, Temple University

As a Manager at Program Advisors, Lauren assists Pat in leading the Business Intelligence and Analytics practice in addition to her role as a subject matter expert in Revenue Cycle, specifically Health Information Management. She has been featured on television twice (Travel Channel and a local commercial…for bacon).

Kelsie Evans

Kelsie Evans

Management Consultant

B.S. Business Administration, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kelsie is a management consultant with a focus on performance improvement assessments and benchmarking. In her free time, Kelsie is a cheerleader for the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.

Patrick Leavell

Patrick Leavell

Management Consultant

B.S. Industrial & Systems Engineering, Auburn University

Patrick’s focus is working on healthcare revenue cycle dashboards to improve high-level access to key performance indicators. He’s also a project manager in our infrastructure in transition effort. Patrick has two dogs named Bo and Modi, who are advocates for bully breed adoption.

Hannah Maiberger

Hannah Maiberger

Management Consultant

B.S. Health Services Administration, Clemson University

Hannah focuses mainly on the Revenue Cycle and Business Intelligence practices, working on performance improvement projects and data analytics. Hannah considers herself somewhat of a food expert, particularly Mexican food.

Conor Tanzman

Conor Tanzman

Management Consultant

B.S. Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Conor predominantly works on business intelligence and analytics efforts for Program Advisors clients, also focusing on the Revenue Cycle practice. When he’s not working on revenue cycle and data analytics, Conor spends much of his free time sailing.