AAFP Primary Care Valuation Task Force Members

Christine Bechtel
National Partnership for Women & Families


Christine Bechtel is vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington DC. The National Partnership has been the driving force behind some of the country’s most important policies and initiatives, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Consumer Partnership for eHealth. Bechtel oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, including its work on health care quality, information technology and patient engagement.

She also serves on the federal Health IT Policy Committee. Bechtel was previously vice president of the eHealth Initiative, where she led the organization’s membership, public policy and government relations work. She has a background in health care quality improvement from her work with the American Health Quality Association and Louisiana Health Care Review, now eQHealth Solutions, a Medicare quality improvement organization. As a senior research advisor at AARP, Bechtel conducted public opinion studies with consumers regarding their views on national political issues. She began her career as a legislative associate for Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), where she focused on legislative issues ranging from women’s health and stem cell research to Medicare and Social Security.


Robert Berenson, M.D.
Urban Institute


Robert Berenson, M.D., is an institute fellow at the Urban Institute. He is an expert in health care policy, particularly Medicare, with experience practicing medicine, serving in senior positions in two Administrations, and helping organize and manage a successful preferred provider organization.
In July 2009, Dr. Berenson became a commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and was named vice-chair in 2010. In 2011, he was named to the Health Care Board of the Institute of Medicine and elected to the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance. From 1998-2000, he was in charge of Medicare payment policy and private health plan contracting in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berenson is a board-certified internist who practiced for 20 years. He was co-author, with Walter Zelman, of The Managed Care Blues & How to Cure Them, and, with Rick Mayes, of Medicare Payment Policy and the Shaping of U.S. Health Care.



Robert Carr, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians (Current Procedural Terminology team)


Robert Carr, M.D., is president of the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians and medical director of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative for the Western Connecticut Health Network. He is a family physician and geriatric medicine specialist and has served as medical director, department chair, residency program director, chief of clinical services, and numerous other positions throughout his 23-year career. He currently serves as an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and teaches residents and medical students in his clinical practice. Carr served as chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Commission on Practice Enhancement. He is past-president of the District of Columbia Academy of Family Physicians and served as a delegate to the AAFP’s Congress of Delegates. He is currently the AAFP’s advisor to the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology Panel. He also serves on the board of directors of Qualidigm, Connecticut’s Medicare quality improvement organization.


Randall Curnow, Jr., M.D., MBA
American College of Physicians


Randall Curnow Jr., M.D., MBA, serves as the chief medical officer for Summit Medical Group in central Tennessee. He is a board-certified internal medicine physician with nearly 15 years of experience. He has worked in a clinical practice where he served as the medical group’s president. He also has served on the board of directors of numerous health care organizations and has published articles and a book on medical management. Curnow is a certified health care executive from the American College of Healthcare Executives and a certified physician executive from the American College of Physician Executives, for which he also became a fellow in 2007. He is also an active member of the American College of Physicians and was awarded fellowship in 2008. Additionally, Curnow is a member of the American Medical Association and has state medical licenses in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.


Thomas Felger, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians (board member)


Thomas Felger, M.D., a family physician in Granger, Ind., serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide. Felger has been a family physician for more than 40 years. He has worked in private practice as a solo physician, as a medical director for HMOs, as associate director of a residency program, as chair of two hospital family medicine departments, and also as a clinical assistant professor. He currently serves as County Health Officer for St. Joseph County, Ind. He served as an AAFP representative to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee — commonly referred to as the RUC — from 1999 to 2009, as well as to its Practice Expense Subcommittee, where he focused on finding a fix for flaws in the current physician payment system. During that time, he was involved in the RUC’s assessment of evaluation and management codes.



Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D.
Center for Studying Health System Change


Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., is president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, which conducts research to inform policy makers and other audiences about changes in organization, financing and delivery of care and their effects on people. HSC is widely known for the objectivity and technical quality of its research and its success in communicating it to policy makers, industry and the media as well as to the research community. Ginsburg also serves as research director of the National Institute for Health Care Reform. Prior to his founding HSC, Dr. Ginsburg served as the founding executive director of the Physician Payment Review Commission (now the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission). Ginsburg was a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and served as deputy assistant director at the Congressional Budget Office. Before that, he served on the faculties of Duke and Michigan State Universities. Ginsburg is a noted speaker and consultant on the changes taking place in the health care system and the future outlook. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a Public Trustee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, served two elected terms on the Board of AcademyHealth and serves on CBO’s Panel of Health Advisers, and on Health Affairs’ editorial board.


Veronica Goff
National Business Group on Health, Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions


Veronica Goff is vice president of the National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit membership organization devoted to providing practical solutions to large employers’ most important health care problems and representing their perspective on national health policy issues. She leads the Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions. The Institute identifies and disseminates best practices and promising solutions to cost, quality, patient safety, and employee engagement challenges with a focus on implementation and actionable information for employers. Goff also represents the Business Group on the Institutes of Medicine Value Incentives Learning Collaborative and the Advisory Board of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. She recently served on The National Committee on Quality Assurance Re-Evaluating PPC-PCMH Standards Advisory Committee and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Evidence-based Practice Center stakeholder panel on cancer and infectious disease. She has more than 25 years of experience working with employers on health benefits and programs. Most recently, she was a senior consultant to the Business Group. Previously, she served as vice president for the Washington Business Group on Health, held a faculty position at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, and managed an on-site health promotion/fitness facility serving 8,000 AT&T employees.


John Goodson, M.D.
Society of General Internal Medicine


John Goodson, M.D., is a practicing internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Early in his career, Goodson reorganized the clinical practice structure, schedule, and curriculum of the outpatient primary care and traditional residency training at MGH. He has published many papers on innovations in residency training and practice support. He has authored numerous editorials on aspects of physician payment that have adversely affected the primary care workforce. Goodson served as the campaign director for “Yes on 5,” a Massachusetts ballot initiative to achieve state-based universal access, which was barely defeated in November 2000. He later served on a state commission to determine the feasibility of state-based universal health care.

In 2002, he began an effort to amend the Massachusetts constitution as co-chair of the Health Care Amendment Campaign — an amendment cited by many as a critical force in overcoming legislative inertia and leading to the Massachusetts health care reform of 2006. This legislation later became a national model for the Affordable Care Act of 2010.


Allan Goroll, M.D.
Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital


Allan Goroll, M.D., is considered one of the pioneers of modern primary care. After completing his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he began a life-long career as a primary care general internist at MGH and Harvard Medical School, combining practice, teaching, writing and reform of primary care. His many local and national contributions to medical education have been recognized by the Career Achievement Award in Medical Education from the Society for General Internal Medicine, the Harvard Medical Humanism Award from the Gold Foundation, and a Mastership from the American College of Physicians. His interest in health care reform has manifested by service as president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and as Massachusetts governor of the American College of Physicians. As ACP governor, he founded and chaired the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative to pilot community-wide electronic health record adoption in Massachusetts, and more recently he established the Massachusetts Coalition for Primary Care Reform to field test new models of practice and payment for primary care. He also chairs the Payment Reform Task Force for the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative in Washington, D.C.


Edith Hambrick, M.D., J.D., MPH
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (observer)


Edith Hambrick, M.D., J.D., MPH, joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a medical officer in 2003 where she uses her medical knowledge and expertise to help inform Medicare policy and ensure accurate payment for physician and other services. She obtained Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Health degrees from the George Washington University in 1998. Hambrick received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1979. Hambrick completed residencies in internal medicine and emergency medicine and worked as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at a teaching hospital. She also worked as an associate at a Washington, D.C., law firm prior to joining CMS.


Lori Heim, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians (board chair and task force chair)


Lori Heim, M.D., a family physician in Vass, N.C., is board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide. Previously, she served one-year terms as president and president-elect and three years as a member of the AAFP Board of Directors. A practicing family physician for 20 years, Heim currently serves as a hospitalist at Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg, N.C., where she manages the inpatient care of adult patients referred by primary care physicians in the community. Hospitalists bridge the gap between hospitalized patients and their primary care doctors to ensure continuity of care. She served on the AAFP Commission on Health Care Services and on the Task Force of Linkages to Practice Improvement. In addition, she held the offices of president, vice president, and member of the board of directors of the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians.

Heim retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 2007 after 25 years of service. She held USAF appointments of staff physician, clinic chief, residency director, assistant professor, university health center director, chief of the medical staff and commander.


David Hitzeman, D.O.
American Osteopathic Association


David Hitzeman, D.O., is a practicing internist in Tulsa, Okla., where he also serves as a professor of medicine at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and as internal medicine program director at OSU Medical Center. He is currently participating in the Tulsa Health Innovation Zone Demonstration Project to integrate care for dual eligible individuals. Hitzeman served as the AOA’s representative to the AMA RUC for the past 15 years, where he also chaired the Professional Liability Committee, Extant Data Subcommittee and Medical Home Workgroup that developed a payment methodology accepted by CMS for the proposed Medical Home Demonstration Project. He also was a member of the Evaluation & Management Workgroup during the third five-year review where significant increases in evaluation and management work relative value units were recommended and accepted by CMS. He is the current chair of the Bureau of Socioeconomic Affairs of the American Osteopathic Association and past chair of the Practice Management Committee of the AOA Internists. He served for 10 years as commissioner on the Physician Manpower Training Commission, which addressed access to primary care in rural Oklahoma. He currently serves as a board member on Oklahoma’s QIO, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality.


Ronnie Horner, Ph.D.
Center for the Study of Health, University of Cincinnati


Ronnie Horner, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, with faculty appointments in the Departments of Public Health Sciences, Neurology and Internal Medicine. Currently, Horner is principal investigator on a line of research regarding the nature and sources of clinical work intensity, and the implications for the delivery of health care. He also provides epidemiological expertise to various projects within the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to neurological conditions among veterans. Horner was the founding director of the Health Disparities Research Program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. Horner also served as a research professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a senior health scientist with the Health Services Research Program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, N.C. In addition, he was the founding director of the VA Epidemiologic Research and Information Center in Durham, one of three national centers within the Department of Veterans Affairs that were created to conduct epidemiologic studies focused on improving the health of veterans.


David Katerndahl, M.D., M.A.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio


David Katerndahl, M.D., M.A., is professor and former director of research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and holds the Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Distinguished Professorship. Katerndahl’s research interests and experience are in the areas of panic disorder, depression and complexity science. He has received funding from a variety of sources including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Public Health Service, National Fund for Medical Education and the National Science Foundation.

He has published more than 200 articles, abstracts, reviews and editorials in a number of peer-reviewed medical journals, including a recently-published book, “Directing Research In Primary Care.”


Brian Klepper, Ph.D.
WeCare TLC Onsite Clinics


Brian Klepper, Ph.D., is chief development officer for WeCare TLC Onsite Clinics. WeCare TLC develops and manages onsite clinics for small- and mid-sized employers and governmental organizations. Klepper is a nationally prominent health care analyst, speaker and writer with broad industry experience. In addition to his activities for WeCare TLC, he consults on market trends and web-based health tools with health care organizations and employers. Klepper’s columns appear on The Health Care Blog, and Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review.

Walter Larimore, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians (RUC team)


Walter Larimore, M.D., has been a practicing family physician for nearly 30 years. He currently practices at Oak Springs Family Medicine in Colorado Springs, Colo., and serves as an adjunct clinical professor of family medicine at the In His Image Family Medicine Residency Program in Tulsa, Okla., and the University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency Program in Denver, Colo. He currently represents the AAFP and family medicine on the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (the RUC). Prior to moving to Colorado in 2001, Larimore practiced family medicine in Kissimmee, Fla., for 16 years, where he also served as a volunteer physician for the U.S. Olympic Committee. From 1981 to 1985, he practiced in the small town of Bryson City in the rural Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He was named America’s Outstanding Family Medicine Educator by the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1996. A book author and medical journalist, Larimore is a frequent contributor for a wide variety of consumer and medical trade news outlets.


Katie Merrell
Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.


Katie Merrell is a senior research scientist at Social & Scientific Systems. Since joining the Physician Payment Review Commission in 1990, Merrell has done extensive work in the area of physician payment policy and other aspects of physician compensation, organization and training. In addition to this research, Merrell has led studies of Medicaid managed care, and evaluations of several maternal and child health initiatives. She was affiliated with the University of Chicago for 17 years, where, in addition to performing research, she taught master’s-level courses on the health care system and data analysis.


Kavita Patel, M.D.
Brookings Institution


Kavita Patel, M.D., MS, is a fellow in the Economic Studies program and managing director for clinical transformation and delivery at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution. She previously served as director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation, where she provided strategic vision for all health-related policy research and analysis, educational outreach and communication activities.

Patel also served in the Obama Administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House. As a senior aide to Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior advisor, she played a critical role in policy development and evaluation of policy initiatives connected to health reform, financial regulatory reform and economic recovery issues. Patel was a trusted aide to the late Senator Edward Kennedy for whom she served as deputy staff director on health and as senior staff on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Patel has an extensive research and clinical background, having worked as a researcher at the RAND Corporation and as a practicing internal medicine physician in California and Oregon. Patel is a previous Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.


Richard “Dick” Salmon, M.D., Ph.D.
CIGNA HealthCare


Richard Salmon, M.D., Ph.D., national medical executive of Performance Measurement and Improvement for CIGNA HealthCare, is responsible for the company’s clinical network performance improvement initiatives. Prior to this position, Salmon developed new care facilitation programs in case management and disease management. He previously was the New England regional medical director, and president and general manager of CIGNA New Hampshire. Before joining CIGNA HealthCare, Salmon was the senior vice president and chief medical officer for HealthSource, a three million member HMO acquired by CIGNA in 1997. Salmon has worked extensively with managed care since 1984. His career began in academic medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the affiliated University Hospital, where he was an assistant professor of family medicine and chief resident in family practice.


Glen R. Stream, M.D., MBI
American Academy of Family Physicians (president-elect)


Glen Stream, M.D., MBI, a family physician in Spokane, Wash., is president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide. Previously, he served three years as a member of the AAFP Board of Directors. Stream has been a family physician serving the Pacific Northwest for more than 25 years. He joined the Rockwood Clinic, the largest multi-specialty practice in Spokane, Wash., in 1991. At the clinic, he has served as board member, chief privacy officer, medical director of clinical information services and now as chief medical information officer. Prior to his move to Spokane, Stream worked six years in a three-physician rural family medicine practice in Cashmere, Wash. Stream served on the AAFP Commission on Governmental Advocacy from 2005 to 2007. Stream also has held numerous leadership positions with Washington Academy of Family Physicians, including one year as president and four years as co-chair for the WAFP Commission on Legislation and Governmental Affairs. Stream also has been an active member of the Washington State Medical Association, in which he served on the Inter-Specialty Council, and as a trustee of the Spokane County Medical Society.


Jeffrey Susman, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians (chair, Commission on Quality and Practice)


Jeffrey Susman, M.D., is dean of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and professor of family medicine. He fulfilled his National Health Service Corp Scholarship in Wahoo, Neb., before joining the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1987. Susman served as the research director of the Department of Family Medicine, associate dean for Primary Care and Faculty Development, and medical director for the Primary Care Network. In 1999, Susman became chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. His diverse roles included membership on the health system board, chair of the Physician Organization and as executive committee member of the group practice. Susman's research interests include mental health issues in primary care and the translation of best practices into usual care. He has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as multiple state and private foundation awards. Susman serves as editor of the Journal of Family Practice, is chair of the AAFP Commission on Quality and Practice, and is co-chair of the National Quality Forum Mental Health Outcomes Committee.


Richard Harrison Tuck, M.D.
American Academy of Pediatrics


Richard Tuck, M.D., is a general pediatrician in private group practice in Zanesville, Ohio. He also serves as medical director of Quality Care Partners, a southeastern Ohio physician hospital organization, where he is engaged in utilization management, quality oversight, and physician and payer relations. Tuck is a nationally known CPT and ICD coding expert. He has extensive knowledge of payer and reimbursement issues through his medical practice, and state and national committee involvement. Tuck is the American Academy of Pediatrics’ immediate past representative to the AMA Resource-Based Relative Value Scale Review Update Committee. He also served as a committee advisor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for maintenance and update of the RBRVS fee schedule. Tuck received the Buzzy VanChiere award for his efforts to educate pediatricians on appropriate coding and business practices, and he remains committed to teaching physicians accurate coding and documentation to ensure adequate payment for their services.