Revenue Cycle Solutions
Meet Our Team
Stephen M. Mooney
President and CEO
SVP, Chief People Officer
SVP, Chief Client Officer
Daniel M. Karnuta
SVP, Chief Financial Officer
SVP, Revenue Cycle Mgmt
Matthew C. Michaels
SVP, Revenue Cycle Mgmt
VP, Chief Information Officer
Richard L. Smith
VP, Chief Legal Officer
VP, Chief Compliance Officer
Stephen M. MooneyPresident and CEO
Talk to Stephen Mooney, and his passion for what sets Conifer apart reveals itself almost instantly. “We were born out of a healthcare organization,” he emphasizes. “We understand what clients face every single day, from every side. Revenue, expenses and cash flow.”
“No company in the industry has the depth and breadth of experience that Conifer represents,” he says. Nor can anyone match the passion of Conifer’s people. “Take a tour,” he insists. “You’ll see what we really bring to making a difference in healthcare. Hospital executives have multiple competing priorities, and not that the revenue cycle isn’t important, because it is critical, but some of the priorities require their personal attention since they can’t be delegated.” These priorities include physician relationships, capital investments and ensuring they are delivering the best quality care, to name just a few. But they aren’t necessarily best suited or equipped to deal with the revenue cycle. “We are,” Steve says. “It’s all we think about. We have invested significant time, energy and money to generate best in class results, which we want to bring to other providers. Without cash to reinvest, there is no quality care. And without positive patient and physician experiences, there is no revenue.”
After more than 20 years in the industry, Steve takes the work Conifer does for clients extremely personally. “We could help them so much,” he says of many of the hospitals that continue to do this for themselves, or turn to other providers. “I know everyone in this space, and there is no way anyone can do for you what we can,” he states. “But people can’t see that from the outside. You have to come in and look.”
If that sounds like an invitation, “It absolutely is.”
- President of Conifer since its formation in 2008
- Leader of Conifer’s predecessor organization, Tenet Patient Financial Services, from 2004 to 2008
- More than 20 years of revenue cycle industry experience with Conifer and Tenet
- Bachelor of Arts, Stockton State College, New Jersey
- Master of Business Administration, Pepperdine University
Norma ZeringueSenior Vice President, Chief People Officer
Using her more than 25 years of experience to make a difference – to help hospitals deliver better care to more people – is at the heart of Norma Zeringue’s agenda. “I’ve worked in nearly every department in hospital operations,” she says modestly. “Marketing, AP, payroll, accounting, operations, business development, systems, government programs.” Modesty aside, Norma’s experience has given her an exceptionally broad perspective. “I know how the revenue cycle fits into the overall hospital structure and how it impacts care to the patient,” she says.
In fact, working with people similarly positioned to make a difference in healthcare is one of the reasons she’s at Conifer. “My colleagues have similar pedigrees,” she says. “We understand the pressures and the tensions of hospital operations and what it means to operate a successful hospital.” And with all due respect to Conifer’s competitors, “They haven’t dealt with the nuances of hospital operations. We have,” she says. “And that’s the value Conifer brings to their clients.”
- Senior Vice President of Strategy for Conifer since its formation in 2008
- Previously Vice President of Process Innovation and Financial Integrity for Tenet Patient Financial Services from 1999 – 2008
- More than 25 years of leadership roles across Tenet
- Bachelor of Science, Nicholls State University, Louisiana
- Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix, California
Daniel M. KarnutaSenior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Like every great CFO, Dan Karnuta really knows his business. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate finance, accounting and taxation, as well as in human resources and information technology operations. His knowledge base is both broad and deep – which makes him a perfect fit for Conifer and its approach to managing the revenue cycle for hospitals and healthcare systems.
“Conifer has assembled the best knowledge base along with the best systems capabilities in the revenue cycle industry,” he says. “Combining the subject matter expertise of the end-to-end revenue cycle process with a client-oriented delivery culture provides an attractive value alternative to hospitals that are seeking revenue cycle performance excellence.”
Prior to joining Conifer, Dan served 18 years in domestic and international leadership positions at Dell and Perot Systems. That experience gave him insight into our global economy that many business leaders never realize, and it helped him truly appreciate what Conifer brings to the table for its clients: “Conifer combines deep healthcare industry expertise and systems capabilities with a client-centric delivery approach that is unparalleled in the revenue cycle marketplace.”
- Previously served as Executive Director of Finance at Dell, Inc.
- Also held several key financial roles at Perot Systems Corporation, including Chief Financial Officer of the Healthcare Industry Group and Vice President of Planning and Decision Support
- Holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University
- Earned a Master of Science degree in Taxation from American University in Washington, D.C.
- Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Janie PattersonSenior Vice President, Revenue Cycle Management
“How can we break from the status quo and truly make a difference in healthcare?” That’s the question that drives Janie Patterson, responsible for Conifer’s Revenue Cycle Management department. There is no single answer of course, but Janie knows where to look.
“We’ve been in the trenches,” she says. “Not being told, but doing. So we know what our clients are going through.” With more than 25 years of experience, Janie really does know, deploying that knowledge in a myriad of ways. “Our processes are tested for results. For instance, if a model shows us a patient is more likely to pay with a call than a statement, we call.”
Janie’s proudest achievement is helping raise Conifer’s “Exceeding Expectations” score above 90 percent among client CFOs. What was the secret? “The Revenue Cycle Management team has a wealth of knowledge to help clients achieve their objectives. That’s what we think about every day.”
- Has served as SVP of Revenue Cycle Management since Conifer was created in 2008. Her department now includes Client Services, Central Operations and Hospital Operations.
- Previously Vice President of Revenue Cycle Services for Tenet Patient Financial Services
- Held key roles for Tenet Healthcare since 1990
- Consolidated eight Regional Business Offices into five, including the National Medicare/Medicaid Center for Tenet Healthcare, serving 57 hospitals
- Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, University of Phoenix
Matthew C. MichaelsSenior Vice President, Revenue Cycle Management
Matt Michaels describes “professional empathy” this way: “It’s easy to think about what I want to happen. But we have to put ourselves in the customer’s seat, and see their point of view, and what their needs are.” To Matt, that’s what leadership’s about.
Matt feels lucky to work with people who see things the same way. “‘Innovation’ is a word we use a lot,” Matt says, but innovation is service to clients. “People want to evolve quickly, but our innovations have to drive Conifer to adapt to customer needs.”
As Matt sees it, there’s a very practical side to this concept. “As we bring on customers,” he says, “we are leading them through change, and managing change is never easy. It means being fully focused on the client so we can understand their challenges as fully as they do. That’s how we’ll succeed.”
- Named Senior Vice President of Administration in 2011
- Previously served as Conifer’s SVP of Hospital Operations after leading the company’s Patient Access Integration department
- Served two years as Senior Director of Operations Planning and Strategy for Tenet Patient Financial Services, and led Tenet’s eBusiness Strategy department for five years
- Bachelor of Science, University of Wisconsin
- Master of Business Administration, Stern School of Business, NYU
Chris TylerVice President, Chief Information Officer
Chris Tyler is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Conifer Health Solutions. He has held that position since he joined the company in July 2009. He leads the company’s strategic focus on technology needs and solutions as they relate to existing business systems and to those of new Conifer clients.
Prior to joining Conifer, Mr. Tyler had more than 13 years of service at Perot Systems Corporation — 11 of which were dedicated to Tenet Healthcare. Most recently, he served as Perot’s chief operating officer for the Tenet account with overall responsibility for both technical project delivery and day-to-day technical operations for hospitals across Tenet’s enterprise. During his tenure with the Tenet account at Perot Systems, one of his many accomplishments was the creation of the enterprise integration architecture that Conifer uses to serve its hospital clients today.
- Conifer’s Chief Information Officer since July 2009
- Previously Tenet Account COO for Perot Systems from 2008 to 2009
- Designed and delivered the IT strategy, infrastructure and integration model for Conifer’s Integration and Productivity Platform outsourcing
- 13 Years of Experience Architecting Enterprise Solutions for Tenet Healthcare, including Tenet’s Physician Portal, Reserve Management and Patient Access ADT Systems
- Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, Texas A&M University
Richard L. SmithVice President, Chief Legal Officer
As Chief Legal Officer for Conifer Health Solutions, Richard L. Smith works long, hard hours for his client. But it’s not because the company he works for faces any unusual legal challenges. He just loves what he does for a living.
“I honestly love helping my colleagues identify and work through, in very practical ways, legal issues they encounter,” Rick says. “Conifer and its employees have a vision of being the best at what they do. That dedication and focus are fun to be associated with.”
Rick, himself, brings plenty of “being the best” at what you do to his legal duties at Conifer from his decades of experience in the healthcare field. Before joining Conifer’s parent company in 2005, he served the medical schools of three prominent universities in critical legal and managed care positions and worked in private law practice for almost 16 years. There, he learned the ins and outs of the healthcare industry, and he mastered the art of truly loving what you do.
- Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Conifer since 2009
- Previously served as Assistant General Counsel for Tenet Healthcare Corp. since 2005. Also held business development and managed care leadership positions with University of Texas Southwestern Health Systems, University of Miami Health Services and School of Medicine, and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Private practice of law, with a focus on commercial and financial issues for almost 16 years
- Earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
- Received a Certificate in Healthcare Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lea FourkillerVice President, Chief Compliance Officer
Lea Fourkiller says the biggest challenge – and most rewarding aspect – of her job is staying a step ahead. “Hospitals and revenue cycle organizations must constantly be aware of what regulatory changes are coming and take the steps necessary to mitigate risks and prevent problems. It’s an enormous, never-ending task, and it takes tremendous resources to keep up.”
As Conifer’s Chief Compliance Officer, Lea is responsible for leading the values-based ethics and compliance program for the company’s nearly 4,000 employees. Relying on her experience at Conifer, as well as her years as a Regional Compliance Director and Hospital Compliance Officer, she and her team work continuously to promote a culture of accountability – in effect, creating a Compliance department staffed with nearly 4,000 people.
“It takes everyone to be successful. We provide continual training so that all of our team members have not only the knowledge they need to be compliant with all applicable rules and regulations, but a true appreciation of just how important it is for Conifer, our client hospitals, and their patients,” she says.
- Conifer’s Chief Compliance Officer since 2009
- Previously served as a Regional Compliance Director at Tenet Healthcare where she oversaw the compliance programs at 13 hospitals
- Was the Compliance Officer for hospitals in Dallas, Texas, and Cherokee, North Carolina
- Earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa/College of Law and became a member of the Oklahoma Bar in 1988
Allen HobbsSenior Vice President, Chief Client Officer
Allen Hobbs has extensive responsibilities in his Conifer Health leadership role. He leads our Business Development, Client Management, Strategic Planning, and Marketing functions. For him though, it’s not as complex as it sounds – because everything he does is about our clients.
"Conifer Health has experienced incredible growth over the last couple of years. It’s imperative that we earn our clients’ trust and renew our partnerships with them each and every day. We understand their evolving business requirements and are committed to helping them meet their goals and objectives," Allen says.
As for bringing in new clients, he understands what it takes to be successful. "Take great care of your clients today, exceed their expectations and we’ll be successful finding additional clients tomorrow. It’s a winning strategy in any business, and one that will help Conifer Health and our clients find success for many years to come."
- Joined Conifer Health February 4, 2013
- Prior to Conifer was President of Sales, Client Management and Field Operations Support for MedAssets, Inc.
- Previously was an owner and Executive Vice President at OSI Systems, Inc., and held Executive Leadership roles at Transcend Services and HBOC
- Extensive experience in sales, client management, operations and strategy for companies providing business process management services to healthcare organizations since 1980
- Holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Georgia