Emerson Consultants

Our Team of Consultants

Our team is comprised of former payer medical directors, industry experts, and reimbursement thought leaders.  We understand the reimbursement “process” and create strategies to ensure our client’s success.

Barb Peterson — President/CEO

Kelli Hallas — Executive Vice President

Patty Telgener — Vice President of Reimbursement

Richard K. Baer, M.D. — Medical Director

Spencer Bailey — Director of Reimbursement & Health Economics

Kristi Marks — Healthcare Reimbursement Analyst


Barb Peterson, MBA
President/CEO

Barb Peterson founded Emerson Consultants in 2003, after a long career in marketing, reimbursement and communications with a number of the best known companies in the medical device industry.

Currently, she partners with numerous medical device, diagnostic and biologic companies, from start-ups to multi-billion dollar organizations, helping them achieve their business objectives through integrated reimbursement, regulatory, clinical, and market development strategies.

Prior to starting Emerson Consultants Barb served as Director of Marketing, Reimbursement and Communications for SpineTech (now Zimmer Spine) and Director of Reimbursement for Johnson & Johnson.

Her reimbursement experience includes successfully lobbying in the U.S. Congress for new federal legislation to secure reimbursement of a new technology; working with professional societies to obtain CPT codes; and working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to obtain ICD-9-CM codes and payment for new technologies. Barb has successfully obtained pass-through payments for new technologies.

Barb was instrumental in securing contracts with both United HealthCare and ECRI to develop the health technology pipeline articles on new and emerging technology. Her broad understanding of payers and technology assessment groups has enabled her to overturn negative BCBS Tech Assessments.

Barb holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN and a BS in Medical Technology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. She has served on the Board of Directors for Imricor Medical Systems, Inc.


Kelli L. Hallas
Executive Vice President

Kelli Hallas is an accomplished reimbursement thought leader with over 24 years of experience in the medical device industry in the areas of reimbursement, sales, and market development. Kelli joined Emerson Consultants in 2004 and over the past decade has successfully provided a wide range of services to Medical Technology Companies to increase patient access to new technologies and drive company revenue.

In her Senior Consulting position at Emerson, Kelli collaborates with clients to develop, execute, and integrate Reimbursement and Sales/Marketing initiatives into strategic plans to achieve company milestones. She supports a wide variety of clients from start-up ventures to established, international organizations. Her broad expertise includes clinical trial reimbursement, financial modeling tools for products and procedures, healthcare policy, and government and commercial-payer focused initiatives. She provides customized reimbursement training for sales and marketing teams focused on integrating the reimbursement value proposition into the sales cycle.

Kelli has secured numerous procedure codes for emerging technologies, obtained pass through status for new devices and biologics, partnered with professional societies for the implementation of CPT® codes, and worked with local and national payers to implement coverage decisions.

Since 2011 Kelli has been an active representative of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery’s (ISASS) Coding and Reimbursement Advisory Board and has assisted with CPT submissions, participated in policy and guideline development, and has administered RVU and utilization Surveys.

Kelli holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana State University and a Certificate from the ST Thomas MBA Program in Health Care Management, where she currently is an Adjunct Professor in the Regulatory Sciences program. She has been a featured presenter at several industry programs, educational events, and has served as Faculty for a variety of professional education programs. She is a contributing writer in several industry-related publications and has been widely published.


Patty Telgener
Vice President of Reimbursement

Patty Telgener is the Vice President of Reimbursement at Emerson Consultants, Inc. which is a company focused on offering Reimbursement, Regulatory, Clinical and Market Development consulting to the medical device, biologic and pharmaceutical industries. Currently, Patty is working with numerous medical device, diagnostic, and biologic companies ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar organizations.

Prior to joining Emerson Consultants, Patty was Director of Reimbursement for Medtronic Neurological and Medtronic Diabetes for over 14 years. She was also a healthcare consultant with Deloitte and Touche where she conducted hospital financial analyses and implemented new patient care delivery systems and has eight years of nursing experience in pediatric intensive care and emergency room.

Patty’s reimbursement experience includes development and implementation of reimbursement strategies. She has experience successfully lobbying for new legislation to secure reimbursement of a new technology, working with professional societies to obtain CPT codes and working with CMS to obtain ICD-9-CM codes, HCPCS codes and payment for new technologies. Patty has also successfully obtained payments for new technologies and has worked directly with physicians, hospitals and payers to ensure appropriate coverage and payment.

Patty has been involved in research and due diligence activities for numerous new technologies. These market research activities included clinical research, competitive analysis (devices and pharmaceutical interventions) and economic analysis. Patty has also leveraged this research to help payer and provider customers understand the clinical and economic impact of new technologies. Patty has a strong understanding of what clinical and economic data is necessary to bring a product to market and secure positive coverage and payment determinations.

Patty is currently on the Advisory Board for Wolters Kluwer-Mediregs and is the Coding Consultant for American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

Patty has an MBA from the American Graduate School (Thunderbird) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marquette University.


Richard K. Baer, M.D.
Medical Director

Richard K. Baer, M.D., is a Senior Staff Consultant and Medical Director with Emerson Consultants. He recently served as Chief Medical Officer and Contract Medical Director for Performant Recovery, Inc., the Medicare Recovery Auditor for Region A in the northeast United States. Prior to that role, he was the Medical Director for the Medicare RAC Validation Contractor. He was formerly the Lead Medical Director for National Government Services (NGS), one of the nation’s largest Medicare administrative contractors (MAC). At NGS Dr. Baer had responsibilities for oversight of all medical policy activities for Medicare Parts A and B in all states in NGS’ jurisdictions. His duties included the development of medical policy, which defined Medicare coverage of items, devices, services and supplies, support of Medical Review and Fraud and Abuse activities, and to represent the Medicare contractor in local, regional, and national meetings and committees. As a Medicare Medical Director, Dr. Baer had been especially active in developing Medicare medical policies and performing medical review in the area of physician services, new technology, home health, hospice, and Part A services.

Dr. Baer attended the University of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine in Chicago and completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Illinois Hospitals. He practiced psychiatry for 12 years before joining Medicare in April 1994.


Spencer Bailey, MBA, CPC
Director of Reimbursement & Health Economics

Spencer Bailey is a recognized expert in healthcare economics and finance. His breadth of knowledge has accrued over a decade specializing in hospital financials, revenue management, cost accounting, and general provider reimbursement. Spencer’s experience includes positions in both the medical device industry sector along with hospital and physician practices. Spencer’s knowledge of this critical component of healthcare provides clients with strategic insight to navigate and successfully manage the opportunities and challenges that the ever-changing trends in healthcare economics impose on patient access to new technologies.

Spencer’s reimbursement expertise is not only U.S. centric. He has a broad-based understanding of the healthcare economics landscape in Europe.  He has successfully implemented reimbursement strategies and EU cost-effectiveness models.

Bailey received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting, and later earned his MBA in Finance, both at the University of Vermont.


Kristi Marks
Healthcare Reimbursement Analyst

Kristi provides on-going support to Emerson’s clients to increase market access for their products and services. She identifies critical reimbursement challenges and possible opportunities impacting coverage and payment by closely monitoring third party payer policy developments.

Kristi is a tenured analyst with over eight years of experience working with health care providers, specializing in coverage policies, billing, and reimbursement. She has expertise supporting providers and patients in the areas of coverage analysis, claims adjudication, procedure coding, and patient relations. Her knowledge of payer processes, including pre-authorizations and appeals, assists customers overcome obstacles that may limit patient access to new technologies. In addition, she develops and manages reimbursement hotlines for Emerson’s clients to assist physicians and hospitals with their reimbursement needs.

Kristi received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Saint Catherine University in St. Paul.