NCQA Speakers

Margaret O'Kane

Since 1990, Margaret E. O’Kane has served as President of NCQA. Under her leadership, NCQA has developed broad support among the consumer, employer and health plan communities. In addition, Ms. O’Kane plays a key role in many efforts to improve health care quality. In 2011, she was named one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare for her contribution to improving quality. She was awarded the 2009 Picker Institute Individual Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care for her leadership of NCQA and lifetime achievement in improving patient-centered health care. In 1999, Ms. O’Kane was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine. She also serves as co-chair of the National Priorities Partnership. 

“Peggy, as often as I have seen you, I am always struck anew by your quick wit, your tart wisdom and the obvious pleasure you take in putting them to use! Thank you for your willingness to participate and your splendid contributions to the discussion.”
-
Lucile O. Hanscom, Executive Director, Picker Institute

"A thoughtful resource for many business leaders who can easily become jaded to the transactional nature of health care."
- Speakers Bureau customer, December 2013

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Access and Availability
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting—Diabetes, Heart/Stroke, Back Pain
  • Credentialing
  • Delegation
  • Disease Management
  • Electronic Health Records in Health Care Quality Improvement
  • Exchanges
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)
  • Health Care Costs and Trends
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Pay for Performance
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use
  • Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Women in Health Care 

Education 

Masters in Health Administration and Planning, Johns Hopkins University

Recent Speaking Engagements 

Innovation in Quality: A Conversation with NCQA's President, Peggy O'Kane (Silverlink, July 2012) 

Patricia Barrett

Tricia Marine Barrett joined NCQA in 2008 as the Vice President for Product Development. She is responsible for exploring new product concepts and evolving existing products to meet the needs of a changing health care environment. Prior to joining NCQA, Ms. Barrett was the lead consultant for General Motors on managed care. As HAP Associate Vice President and the Program Director for the HAP/GM Managed Care Consulting Team, she was responsible for evaluating the quality and efficiency of GM’s managed care offerings nationally and for establishing supplier development activities with all of GM’s HMOs. As Director of QM, she had responsibility for all clinical quality improvement and disease management programs as well as HEDIS production and NCQA accreditation for the organization as a whole.

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Access and Availability
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting—Diabetes, Heart/Stroke, Back Pain
  • Credentialing
  • Disease Management
  • Health Care Costs and Trends
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Pay for Performance
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Women in Health Care 

Education

BA in Sociology, University of Michigan
MA in Health Services Administration, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Mary Barton

Mary Barton oversees the development, use and maintenance of techniques NCQA uses to evaluate health care quality. She ensures the scientific integrity of NCQA measurement and research. She also leads NCQA in winning and executing health care quality measurement contracts for federal and state governments.  Prior to NCQA, Dr. Barton worked for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), where she was the scientific director of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). She supported and provided oversight for the methodological, evidence review and recommendation-making work of the USPSTF.  Before joining AHRQ, she was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, where she performed clinical epidemiology and health services research related to cancer screening and prevention in terms of access, test performance and outcomes. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Access and Availability
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting—Diabetes, Heart/Stroke, Back Pain
  • Exchanges
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)
  • Health Care Costs and Trends
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Pay for Performance
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Women in Health Care

Education

BA, Yale College
MPP, Harvard University
MD, Harvard University

Paige Cooke

Paige Cooke is Assistant Director of Customer Engagement for the National Committee for Quality Assurance. With over 10 years in account management and customer relations experience, in Paige’s role as Assistant Director of Customer Engagement, a new division within NCQA, Paige facilitates engagement with organizations in pursuit of NCQA Accreditation and Certification programs including, but not limited to Health Plan Accreditation, Case Management and Wellness & Health Accreditation programs. Paige assists organizations in understanding how implementation of NCQA Standards & Guidelines can help them meet their organizational goals of improved quality in care delivery and facilitates access to key resources to support them through their submission process. Paige is currently working towards her MS in Health Communications at Boston University and achieved her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from Hampton University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations

  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting—Diabetes, Heart/Stroke –Health Information Technology (PCMH Specific Requirements)

  • Patient-Centered Medical Home

  • Pay for Performance 

Education

BA in Mass Communications, Hampton University

Paul Cotton

Paul Cotton is the Director of Federal Affairs. He works on health reform and other initiatives to improve health care quality. Previously he was an AARP Senior Legislative Representative lobbying Congress and the Administration on Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, health reform and quality improvement issues. He has also worked at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Hearings & Policy Presentation Director in the Office of Legislation, and as a journalist for publications including the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Electronic Health Records in Health Care Quality Improvement
  • Exchanges
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)
  • Health Care Costs and Trends
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Pay for Performance
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use
  • Wellness and Health Promotion 

Education

BA in Journalism, Northern Illinois University

Erin Giovannetti

Erin Giovannetti is a Research Scientist in the Performance Measurement Department at NCQA. Dr. Giovannetti’s work focuses on developing health care performance measures for older adults and vulnerable populations. She leads efforts to develop and evaluate performance measures for the Medicare Advantage population. Dr. Giovannetti also has worked extensively with patient reported outcomes and their use for quality assessment. Prior to joining NCQA, Dr. Giovannetti completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology where she conducted research on best practices to support family caregivers to older adults with multiple chronic conditions. 

Areas of Expertise 

  • Geriatric Health Care Performance Measurement 
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home 
  • Performance Measures 
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement 

Education

PhD in Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
BA in Cognitive Science, Wellesley College 

Raena Grant Akin-Deko

Raena is the Assistant Vice President for Product Development. She is responsible for leading her team to develop new products and to extend existing products into new markets. In particular, she is leading the development of standards to evaluate accountable care organizations (ACOs) and overseeing a team to operationalize the ACO Accreditation product. She is formerly the Director of Learning and Innovation at the Alliance of Community Health Plans. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Accountable Care Organizations 
  • Access and Availability 
  • Disease Management 
  • Exchanges 
  • Health Plan Accreditation 
  • Managed Care 
  • Wellness and Health Promotion 
Education

Master of Health Service Administration (MHSA) University of Michigan
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology-Zoology University of Michigan 

Mina Harkins

Mina Harkins is the Assistant Vice President of Recognition Programs at NCQA. Mrs. Harkins is responsible for the operation of all Recognition programs and the new ACO Accreditation program, which focus on quality management of chronic conditions, such as Diabetes and Ischemic Vascular Disease, and the systems and processes utilized in a clinical practice including the Patient-Centered Medical Home. Other projects she worked on include the design and implementation of the online application and data collection tools for the Diabetes Recognition Program and the Heart Stroke Recognition Program, the 2008 PPC-PCMH and the PCMH 2011 versions of the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home standards, the online application system supporting the standards-based programs, the added Distinction in Patient Experience Reporting for Recognized PCMH practices using the CAHPS PCMH survey, and ACO Accreditation. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Accountable Care Organizations 
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting—Diabetes, Heart/Stroke, Back Pain
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home 
  • Pay for Performance 

Education

MBA, Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business
BA in Medical Technology, University of Pittsburgh

Sharon King Donohue

Sharon is the General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for NCQA. Ms. King Donohue is responsible for the general oversight and coordination of all legal matters for the organization. She plays an active role in the development of policy related to NCQA's quality assessment programs. She is a frequent speaker and author on matters related to NCQA, compliance and healthcare quality. Prior to joining the NCQA in 1996, Ms. King Donohue spent over ten years in private practice specializing in the development of integrated delivery systems, mergers and acquisitions and other transactional and regulatory matters for health insurers, managed care organizations, hospitals and physician organizations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Access and Availability
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting-Diabetes, Heart/Stroke, Back Pain Credentialing Delegation Disease Management
  • Electronic Health Records in Health Care Quality Improvement
  • Exchanges
  • Geriatric Health Care
  • Performance Measurement
  •  Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(r))
  • Health Care Costs and trends
  • Health Care Reform Health Information
  • Technology
  • Health Plan Accreditation Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Pay for Performance
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use
  • Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Women in Health Care

Education
J.D. Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio

Frank Micciche, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications

Frank Micciche is NCQA's Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. In this position, he directs NCQA’s relations with Congress, federal agencies and the states, as well as NCQA’s work with the media and other external audiences.

Prior to joining NCQA, Mr. Micciche was the Vice President for Partnerships and Coalitions at Campaign to Fix the Debt, a non-partisan organization made up of prominent public and private sector leaders and more than 350,000 grassroots supporters across the country. 

Prior to this position, Mr. Micciche was a senior advisor on health reform at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, LLP, where he provided policy analysis and strategic guidance to a variety of health care clients.

Mr. Micciche’s service in the public sector includes his time as legislative director in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and four years as the director of state-federal relations for Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), where he ran the Commonwealth’s Washington, DC office and advised the Governor on federal policy issues with a particular focus on health care reform.

Mr. Micciche holds a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Accreditation
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Consumers and Quality
  • Dual Eligibles (people with Medicare and Medicaid) and quality
  • Delivery System Reform
  • Getting Better Value in Health Care
  • Health Care Policy
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Care Report Cards
  • Managed Care in Medicare and Medicaid programs
  • Marketplaces
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home and Patient-Centered Specialty Practice
  • Performance Measurement

Cindy Ottone

Cindy Ottone is the Director of HEDIS Policy. She is responsible for the implementation of HEDIS specifications including the specification publications, technical questions and answers through NCQA’s Policy Clarification System. She is also a frequent speaker on a variety of HEDIS and performance measurement topics. Prior to working at NCQA, Cindy worked in quality improvement with health plans and strategic planning for large physician practices.

Areas of Expertise

  • Access and Availability
  • CAHPS Survey
  • Case Management
  • Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting
  • Disease Management
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)
  • Managed Care
  • Multicultural Health Care
  • Pay for Performance
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use
  • Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Women in Health Care 

Education 

Masters of Health Administration, University of South Carolina
Bachelor of Arts, Health Science and Policy, University of Maryland Baltimore County 

Bob Rehm

Bob Rehm is the Assistant Vice President of Performance Measurement at NCQA. Mr. Rehm manages the development and oversight of complex and multifaceted performance measurement-related projects. He directs the department responsible for the development, testing and implementation of national health care quality reporting initiatives, including the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). Prior to joining NCQA, Mr. Rehm was Vice President of Public Health and Clinical Strategies for America’s Health Insurance Plans where he directed activities in public health, prevention, chronic care, obesity, health disparities, quality and industry standards, performance measurement, ROI analysis, and health system research, as the PI for the AHRQ funded Building Bridges Research Conferences. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)  
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement 

Education 

MBA, University of Washington BA in History, Western Washington University

William Robinson

Will Robinson is the Assistant Director for State Affairs at NCQA and has been with the organization since 2011. He supports NCQA’s work with state legislators and regulators. He previously worked at the Leapfrog Group, a not-for-profit organization that collects and publicly reports information on hospital quality and safety.

Areas of Expertise

  •   Accreditation
  •   Accountable Care Organizations
  •   Patient-Centered Medical Home and Patient-Centered Specialty Practice
  •   Clinician Level Measurement and Reporting: Diabetes, Heart and Stroke
  •   Health Information Technology and Electronic Medical Records
  •   Exchanges and Marketplaces
  •   Health Care Policy: Health Care Reform and Delivery System Reform
  •   Health Care Costs and Trends
  •   Quality Measurement and Improvement 

Education 

BA in English, Lehigh University ​

Robert Saunders

Robert Saunders is the Assistant Vice President, Research and Analysis, at NCQA.  Dr. Saunders has extensive experience in producing performance measures from state Medicaid data systems, integrating data from multiple public data sources, and analysis.  This work has involved collaboration with state agencies, academic researchers, and data vendors to develop data and reporting products.  Dr. Saunders brings analytic experience in the areas of categorical data models, multilevel/hierarchical modeling, and survival analysis using SAS, Stata, and other applications. 

Areas of Expertise 

  • Performance Measurement
  •  Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)
  • Health Care Costs and Trends
  • Health Care Reform Health Information
  • Technology
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use
  • Wellness and Health Promotion

Education
Ph.D, Health Services Research
Vanderbilt University 

Frank H. Stelling

Frank Stelling is the Assistant Director of Policy Accrediation. Mr. Stelling directs the annual publication of all accreditation and certification products published by NCQA. He serves as product champion for all new products being produced by the Policy unit. He is also the lead on all federal and state deeming activities, including the Medicare Deeming program. He is a member of the Policy Development Group; an interdepartmental work group charged with resolving policy issues. Mr. Stelling has over 40 years experience in health care with focus on preventive services, disease management and quality improvement. Before joining NCQA in 2001, he held management positions with state and county health departments, hospitals, voluntary health organizations and a managed care organization.  

Areas of Expertise 

  • Access and Availability
  • Credentialing
  • Delegation
  • Disease Management
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Wellness and Health Promotion 

Education  

MA Education, University of South Carolina
MPH, University of California, Berkely  

Gerald Stewart

Gerald Stewart is the Director of Policy, Accreditation for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  Since 2001, Gerald has been overseeing the production, management and interpretation of the standards and guidelines for NCQA’s major accreditation and certification products, including Health Plan, Managed Behavioral Healthcare Organizations, Wellness and Health Promotions, Disease Management and Case Management accreditation, and Utilization Management and Credentialing certification. As Policy Director, Gerald also provides clarification support and trainings for external and internal customers.

Areas of Expertise

  • Acountable Care Organizations
  • Credentialing
  • Delegation
  • Disease Management
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Managed Care

Education

MHA, University of South Carolina
Masters Certificate, Six Sigma 

William Tulloch

William Tulloch is the Director of Government Recognition Initiatives, and has been with NCQA since 1997. Bill is responsible for the operations of government contracts aimed at promoting the Medical Home concepts in federal health centers and military facilities. Prior to this position, Bill held other positions in NCQA including Director of Customer Resources, Director of the Privacy Certification for Business Associates (PCBA) program and Senior Accreditation Manager. Bill has also been a frequent faculty member for educational presentations for NCQA. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Credentialing
  • Delegation
  • Health Plan Accreditation
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home
  • Quality Improvement
  • Relative Resource Use 

Education  

Master’s in Economics, University of Maryland Williams College

Speaker Request Form

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