Meet our Leadership Team
Our team from Intersect Healthcare and AppealMasters, the appeal service group of the Intersect Healthcare family, bring rich expertise to hospitals and the appeals community.
Brian McGraw | President & CEO
Brian is the President & CEO of Intersect Healthcare and the Denial Research Group (AppealMasters), each firm a national leader in their respective categories for Appeal Support services and next-generation Denial/Appeal Management. The denial technology and revenue recovery methods he designed are currently used by over 300 hospitals and health systems nationwide. As a fierce advocate for hospitals and physicians in their right to be fully paid, he consults with and educates revenue cycle and compliance leaders throughout the U.S. on government and commercial claim dispute resolution management.
He is a nationally recognized speaker and sought-after expert in the areas of Revenue Risk Management, Regulatory Audit Management and Payer Compliance. Brian pioneered the early design and development of BPM software for revenue compliance and next-generation RCM technology to improve hospital net revenue performance. Over the last twenty years, he has worked with hundreds of hospitals and many of the nation’s largest healthcare systems to improve their managed care reimbursements, denied claim recoveries, billing integrity, RAC audit management and Medicare compliance.
Denise Wilson, RN, MS, RRT | Senior Vice President, Clinical Appeal Services
Denise serves as Assistant Vice President, Training and Education for AppealMasters, the appeal service group of the Intersect Healthcare family. With over thirty years of experience in healthcare, including clinical management, education, compliance, audit, and denials, Denise has educated thousands of healthcare professionals across the country on the art and science of writing winning appeals. She has personally managed hundreds of appeals and presented dozens of cases at the Administrative Law Judge level with a 95% success rate.
Denise serves as the main line of training, communication and support for Intersect Healthcare clients and our dedicated team of clinical appeal specialists. Denise has extensive experience as a successful Medicare Appeal Expert and has peronally managed over 350 ALJ appeal cases with an astounding 95% success rate. Denise shares her knowledge and experience of appeal processes and the creation of successful appeals with IHI clients and any willing provider, absolutely free of charge. She is especially skilled in workflow design and performance improvement surrounding the claim dispute resolution process. Denise has more than twenty-five years experience in healthcare management, including four years as a Compliance Officer. She is a Registered Respiratory Therapist, Registered Nurse, and holds a Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Kendall Smith, MD | Chief Physician Advisor
Dr. Kendall Smith is a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine (SFHM) and currently acts as Chief Physician Advisor for AppealMasters, a leading appeal educator and appeal services firm for hospitals and health systems. He’s been deeply involved in denial and appeals management throughout his hospitalist career, working collaboratively with UR/Case Management departments as well as Managed Care and Hospital C-Suite executives.
His familiarity with managed care denials led him to design and implement a number of CDI programs, including those at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida and the MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He has served as a physician leader on hospital revenue cycle management teams while also serving as a the Physician Advisor for Clinical Resource Management. Dr. Smith is also an AHIMA ICD-CM/PCS approved trainer/ambassador.
Julie Raynor | Vice President, Business Operations
Julie serves as the Vice President of Business Operations for Intersect Healthcare and the Denial Research Group. Julie is an experienced operations manager and is responsible for overseeing our Accounting and Billing Department, as well as our Appeal Services operations. Julie joined IHI in August 2017 with over 25 years’ experience in Operations and Purchasing. She has a passion for process improvement and attention to detail. Prior to her current role, she held senior management positions with Citicorp, PHH Corporation and Ace Hardware.
Tracey A. Tomak, RHIA, PMP |Senior Director, Project Management & Client Engagement
Tracey Tomak is a Registered Health Information Administrator and Project Management Professional with over 20 years of experience in revenue cycle with a focus on hospital coding, charge capture, and denials management.
In her current role as Director, Project Management and Client Engagement, Tracey is responsible for coordinating project implementation of Intersect Healthcare’s Veracity software. Tracey works directly with clients to ensure that they are fully utilizing the Veracity software in order to effectively manage commercial and government audits and denials.
Tracey is an active member of IHIMA, serving as the Nominating Committee Chair for the 2018-19 year. Tracey is a regular guest speaker, lecturer, and author on revenue topics such as the Medicare Two-Midnight Rule, RAC and other audit activity, roles within the revenue cycle for health information management professionals, APCs, denial prevention methodology and clinical documentation improvement trends.
Karla Hiravi RN, BSN | Director of Clinical Audits and Appeals
Karla is the Director of Clinical Audits and Appeals at AppealMasters, the appeal service group of the Intersect Healthcare family. Karla has a wealth of experience from her 30+ years as a registered nurse that allowed her to experience first hand the impact that denials have on our nation’s hospitals.
Prior to her present role, she held numerous positions in the healthcare industry. Some of the highlights in her career included working as a Clinical Documentation Specialist, managing a highly successful Clinical Documentation Improvement Department, building a Medical Oncology Research Program, and building a multimillion dollar Denials and Appeals Program.
Karla is passionate about making sure that our hospitals are paid for the work that they do. To that end, she has written hundreds, if not thousands, of appeals and presented dozens of cases at the hearing level. In her current role, she works as an educator and enjoys teaching how to write winning appeals. She is responsible for the quality of appeals produced by AppealMasters, and is often a co-presenter for AppealMaster’s webinars that reach a national audience. Karla is a current member of ACMA and AHIMA.
Wendy M. Towner |Senior Director, Technical Support & SDLC
Wendy began her career at IHI as Director of Client Support & Services in 2009 following twenty five years of experience in the healthcare and managed care industries including project management, EDI knowledge and decades of leadership in relevant systems and IT service environments.
Wendy is currently responsible for the technical product and quality management of IT support and VERACITY product services. Working with developers, she has visibility over projects at all checkpoints and maintains project deliverables to ensure success at every intersection. With more than 20 years of experience as an industry executive – with focus in system/business analysis and design, integration/regression testing and product development – Wendy effectively translates customer needs and market opportunities into successful business strategies. Wendy manages the day-to-day resolution of internal and client support requests.
Prior to IHI, she held a number of management positions in various healthcare companies including a Chicago-based PPO Network, a national government healthcare audit contractor, a Third Party Administrator and a healthcare software revenue recovery company. Wendy also led a development team which patented the first automated claims repricing system.
Vivek Radhakrishna | Vice President, Engineering
Vivek has more than 22 years of experience designing/developing software and has worked across multiple domains in his professional life, including banking, telecommunication, K-12 education and Healthcare. He has been with Intersect Healthcare for 7+ years; Vivek believes that the customer is the most valuable asset an organization can have and that all software design should be driven by a unrelenting pursuit of end user focus and experience which enables them to effectively use applications to achieve business results. As the VP of Engineering he revels in solving problems, finding creative solutions to customer needs and clearing a path for the organization to do the very best they can while constantly moving forward.