C. Duane Dauner

C. Duane Dauner served as President and CEO of the California Hospital Association (CHA) from 1985 to 2017. CHA is one of the nation’s largest state health care associations, representing more than 400 hospitals and health systems.

Mr. Dauner is the founder and principal of Dauner Consulting, LLC, a public policy firm with expertise in health policy, political issues, strategic planning, advocacy, ballot initiatives, communications, research, policy analysis and development, management and transformation strategies.

Mr. Dauner has been active in national hospital and health care issues, serving on numerous American Hospital Association (AHA) and American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) boards and committees. He has authored numerous articles and a book; is a nationally known leader on health issues; and has lectured at several California universities’ graduate programs. He has served on the boards of numerous organizations and associations.

In 2002, Mr. Dauner received ACHE’s highest honor, the Gold Medal Award. He was awarded the Missouri Hospital Association’s highest honor in 1985 and he has been honored by the Partners in Care Foundation, National Health Foundation, UCLA and Health Care Executives of Southern California. In 2017, he received CHA’s highest honor, the Award of Merit and in 2018, he received the AHA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

Mr. Dauner was on the faculty at Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas, prior to beginning his hospital association career at the Kansas Hospital Association in 1966. In 1975, he became President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association. Mr. Dauner holds bachelor and master’s degrees from Wichita State University. He and his wife, Diane, reside in Palm Desert, California.

DEAN JOHNSON, ESQ.

Dean Johnson ESQ. is a skilled litigator and expert in a broad range of health care law including Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, managed care contracting, quality assurance fee programs, Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share programs, HIPAA, Stark and Anti-Kickback Law compliance, health care corporate and regulatory counseling, and state health care/professional regulatory compliance.

Mr. Johnson served as lead counsel in a number of significant cases, including Children’s Hosp. and Medical Center v. Bonta (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 740, a case in which out-of-state hospitals successfully brought an action against the California Department of Health Services (DHS) and its Director to challenge the constitutionality of the differences in reimbursement for in-state and out-of-state hospitals treating Medi-Cal patients. He was also lead counsel in Children’s Hosp. and Health Center v. Belshe (9th Cir. 1999) 188 F.3d 1090, a case in which hospitals located outside of California, which had provided medical services to patients who were covered by California Medicaid program, successfully brought suit against director of California Department of Health Services (CDHS), alleging that method used by CDHS to reimburse out-of-state providers violated the Boren Amendment.

Mr. Johnson has served as the director of the undergraduate program in Health Administration at Indiana University/Purdue University (IUPUI). He has also been appointed to the faculty at five other universities in the areas of statistics, business law, and health care. He has published articles in the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s HFM magazine regarding a range of subjects.

Mr. Johnson received his JD in 1982 from Valparaiso University Law School, and an MBA in 1977 from the University of Chicago, Illinois. He did his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He resides near Seattle Washington with his wife and 4 children.

MICHAEL VAIDA, PH.D.

Michael Vaida, Ph.D. brings the firm thirty plus years of experience in health care information systems and research. His work on the development and use of complex health care data bases has provided expert information to a wide range of clients including hospitals, associations and government agencies.

Michael maintains a large computer based health information system that integrates vast amounts of data from many public and private industry sources. He uses these data to develop complex computer models to provide quantitative reports and analyses based upon modeling, simulations, and statistical techniques. His work includes analysis of reimbursement systems, market studies, hospital financial and utilization profiles, competitive position assessments and analysis of policy alternatives.

Michael was the director of the Hospital Data Center at the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems where he performed many computer simulations and developed econometric models to evaluate and recommend positions on external and internal policy initiatives.

He has served on various task forces and committees for the state and federal government as well as the private sector. His role in these groups has been instrumental in the formulation of research based public policy. Michael has written numerous scientific and technical publications relevant to health care economics and public policy.

George Koortbojian

George Koortbojian lends the firm his extensive breadth of experience in both hospital operations and health care policy, and has worked on various projects with physicians, administrators and hospital boards, as well as community clinic organizations. He has assisted hospitals through times of extreme distress, developing plans for cost-reduction, reorganization and has served as expert staff to legal counsel during prosecution of bankruptcy proceedings.

Most recently George has worked with SCA during the implementation of PRIME: the Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal program for District hospitals. Consulting with multiple hospital participants, he provides guidance and support helping hospitals achieve effective performance on PRIME project metrics.

Mr. Koortbojian often assists hospitals with implementation of complex new regulations. His work on charity care policies and practices includes having been the author of Assisting Low-Income Uninsured Patients, a how-to manual created by the California Hospital Association. He has given presentations to association and health care groups on the topic of charity care policy development and implementation.

George has also provided interim administrative services to hospitals during periods of transition. He has also worked on numerous business development projects including service line expansion, facility planning and construction, rural health clinic certification and physician practice acquisitions.

Mr. Koortbojian was a principal with SCA from 1995 – 2011 and has over 35 years of healthcare and hospital management experience.

Charity Bracy

Charity Bracy has more than 20 year of consulting and lobbying experience in the healthcare sector. She has served as a political and policy adviser to a U.S. Senator on health care issues developing and writing federal policy in the U.S. Senate that impacts hospital funding. Ms. Bracy has extensive experience working directly with the California health care system, including ten years with the California Children’s Hospital Association managing external affairs and working on initiatives to influence opinion leaders and key stakeholders. She also has more than six years of experience working as an independent consultant with a variety of California hospital clients helping to implement Medicaid waivers.

Most recently Charity has worked with SCA during the implementation of PRIME: the Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal program for District hospitals. Consulting with multiple hospital participants, she provided strategic advice helping hospitals achieve payment for performance on PRIME project metrics. Charity also works with District Hospital Leadership Forum which represents California’s 36 public district and municipal hospitals as the organization’s federal lobbyist.

Charity holds a Master of Business degree and a Master of Social Work degree, both from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Derek Petrak

Derek Petrak provides in-depth Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement expertise and Medicare and Medi-Cal cost report consultation. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting from Western Michigan University in June 1982. Upon relocating to California, he spent one year as a Medicare Provider Auditor with Aetna Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, CA. From there, he left the fiscal intermediary side of healthcare and became the Budget/Reimbursement Manager of Centinela Hospital Medical Center and Centinela Mammoth Hospital. After five years with Centinela, he took a position as a Reimbursement Specialist for Summit Health Ltd. After Summit moved their offices, Derek accepted a position with the reimbursement firm, Starcare International, Inc. located in Walnut Creek, CA. Derek worked in the Southern California Torrance office for three years, and then moved to the Walnut Creek office to become Manager for three years. In June 1995, Derek left Starcare International, Inc. and established his own firm of Petrak & Associates, Inc.

Aculytix

Aculytix provides finance & regulatory compliance, Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement and revenue cycle services exclusively to the healthcare industry. Clients include hospitals and health systems where outcome-focused solutions to healthcare providers are offered. Aculytix’s business model is very different than the highly leveraged models typically utilized by larger firms in that engagements are staffed with highly experienced consultants that personally lead each engagement. The average years of experience of Aculytix’s professional staff are in excess of 20 years. Clients value the depth and breadth of the services, know-how, methodologies, and the innovative ideas that the firm team brings to them on a consistent basis.

Specific services provided by Aculytix include:

Acu-Pact – Post-Acute Care Discharge Transfer Review
Acu-Report – Medicare and Medicaid Cost Report Preparation
Acu-DSH – Medicare DSH Preparation and Review
Acu-Recovery – Denials Recovery
Acu-Rev – Payor Review and Recovery

The Aculytix team includes Michael Higgins and Trina Wilson