Meet the Optumas Team

The hard working group behind the scenes.

Comprised of economists, actuaries, clinicians, strategists, consultants, and analysts, the Optumas team brings a wealth of knowledge to our consulting engagements working with health and welfare programs provided by State Governments, Public and Private Employers, Local/Municipal Governments as well as consulting to health care providers wishing to maximize their value to the health care marketplace.

Steve Schramm

Founder/CEO
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As the founder of Optumas, Steve is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of health care reform projects across the country. Steve’s expertise is in developing innovative health care purchasing strategies for large health care purchasers that address not only who has access to health insurance (addressing the under-insured as well as the uninsured), but also how health care is provided to all individuals and groups in a given health care marketplace. Steve’s primary responsibility for his clients is strategy development, risk management and analysis, public and expert witness testimony, and communications and messaging.
 

Tim Doyle FSA, MAAA

Senior Actuary
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Tim is a Senior Actuary at Optumas. He provides program, strategy, and operational consulting services and actuarial analysis for a variety of projects related to health care reform. Tim also develops and certifies to rates for Medicaid populations compliant with the CMS Rate Setting Checklist for use by states in contracting with managed care organizations, including long-term care and behavioral health populations. In addition, Tim has developed upper payment limits for use in PACE programs compliant with the Upper Payment Limit (UPL) Checklist.
 

Zach Aters ASA, MAAA

Lead Actuary
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Zach Aters is a Lead Actuary here at Optumas consulting. Zach is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries as well as member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He has a strong background in product development, rate development and contracting for both commercial and government sectors. He has experience in setting actuarially sound capitation rates and assisting States in evaluating risk for various Medicaid programs including Managed Long Term Care programs, Behavioral Health programs, and Physical Health programs. In addition, Zach is familiar with the CMS guidelines surrounding Medicare Advantage plans and has experience auditing Medicare Advantage plans as well as Medicare Part D plans.

Dr. Art Pelberg, M.D., MPA

Chief Medical Consultant
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Dr. Pelberg, with over 35 years of medical experience, is the chief medical consultant at Optumas. His experience includes: overseeing all clinical operations of six managed care organizations, advising health care start-up companies in operations and strategies, heading the CMS quality review team in Florida and New York for troubled Medicare risk programs, and developing and teaching managed care programs for Medicaid managed care programs in several states.
 

Megan Frenzen, MSc, PhD

Senior Consultant
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Meg is a Senior Consultant and Project Director at Optumas. With more than 10 years of experience in health care research, Meg provides program, strategy, and operational consulting services for health care reform projects across the country. Meg’s areas of expertise are communication, strategic development, negotiation, and risk management. Meg holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Vermont, as well as a PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s in Health Economics, Policy, and Management from the London School of Economics.
 

Carol Dawson

CFO
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Carol is the Chief Financial Officer at Optumas.  She oversees the  contracting and invoicing process and is responsible for the flow of all  our financial analyses on a day to day basis. She also directs the administrative support for all members of the Optumas consulting team.   In addition, Carol is our work-flow coordinator, overseeing the assignment of staff, data, and IT resources for all of our consulting projects to ensure we exceed our client expectations by consistently delivering our analyses on or before our deadlines and at or below our contracted budgets.

Gabriela Charles

Actuarial Consultant
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Gabi is an Actuarial/Data Consultant pursuing her ASA designation with Optumas. She has worked on numerous rate-setting projects with State Medicaid programs as well as Health Plans contracting with Medicaid Managed Care focusing on large data-set manipulation, rate-setting, predictive modeling, and risk-adjusted rate modeling.   She specializes in data collection, data validation and claims re-pricing while using her SAS skills dealing with individual level claims experience.  Gabi provides support for our capitation rate development projects, calculates all adjustments necessary to lead to actuarially sound rate ranges, and presents the results to our clients in both draft and final format.
 

Chris Dickerson

Actuarial Consultant
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Chris is an Actuarial Consultant pursuing his ASA designation. He has worked for Optumas for two plus years, first starting with the team as an Intern.  As a recent graduate with a degree in Mathematics, he has worked on numerous rate-setting projects with multiple clients focusing on trend analysis, capitation rate-setting, and predictive modeling.   He specializes in data collection and management while using his SAS skills dealing with individual level claims experience.  Chris provides support for our capitation rate development projects, calculates all adjustments necessary to lead to actuarially sound rate ranges, and presents the results to our clients in both draft and final format.
 

Joe Costa

Actuarial Consultant
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Joe is an Actuarial Consultant at Optumas and is pursuing his ASA designation. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. He has been an integral part of the actuarially sound rate development process for the States of Alabama, Maryland, and North Dakota. Among other things, he has assisted the State of Alabama with transitioning their program, through an 1115 waiver approved by CMS, to a managed care environment.

Barry Jordan ASA, MAAA

Consulting Actuary
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Barry is a Consulting Actuary at Optumas. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Barry has experience with Medicaid and CHIP capitation rate-setting in various states, as well as PACE UPL development. Additionally, he has worked with states to help develop savings estimates for State Innovation Models.

Seth Adamson

Actuarial Consultant
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Seth is an Actuarial Consultant at Optumas and is pursuing his ASA designation. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. He has been an integral part of the rate modeling process for several states, including the comprehensive managed care program for the state of Kansas covering physical health, behavioral health, and LTSS. He also has extensive experience with physical and behavioral health rate setting for the state of Nebraska.

Martin McNamara

Actuarial Analyst
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Martin is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas. He has a Professional Science Master’s in Nanoscience and is in pursuit of his ASA designation. Martin brings his analytical skills to the Optumas team through his work with data management, and has been influential in the development of CHP+ rates in the state of Colorado.

Cassie Williams

Actuarial Analyst
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Cassie is an Actuarial Consultant at Optumas. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University and is currently in pursuit of her ASA designation. During Cassie’s time at Optumas she has worked on a wide variety of Medicaid projects, including mental health capitation rate development, physical health rate development, and integrated care rate development. Most recently, Cassie has worked as an Actuarial Consultant for Colorado’s Behavioral Health Program, Colorado’s 1281 Program, and Nebraska’s Heritage Health Program

Dave Velde

Director of IT
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Dave is the Director of IT at Optumas and is responsible for all things technology related. With over 16 years of technology experience working for Fortune 500 companies, Dave is a well-rounded professional who understands technology and all of its intricacies. Dave is responsible for identifying, recommending, developing, implementing and supporting cost effective technology solutions for all aspects of the organization.
 

Scott Campbell

Analyst
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Scott is an Analyst at Optumas with a Bachelors in Mathematics from Illinois State University. He is currently pursuing his ASA designation. Scott uses his skills in WPS programming and Excel modeling to assist in rate development. He also assisted the State of Colorado in the rate review process for the Connect for Health Colorado state based exchange.
 

Jessica Grado

Actuarial Analyst
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Jessica is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas. She has a Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University and is currently working towards her ASA designation. She has been an important asset to the Optumas team and has experience developing managed care capitation rate ranges for historical Medicaid, Medicaid expansion, and CHIP populations. Her experience with Oregon’s CCO program has been fundamental to her development as an experienced managed care health program consultant.
 

Sean Potter

Actuarial Analyst
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Sean is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas with a Bachelors in Mathematics from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is currently pursuing his ASA designation. Sean uses his skills in WPS programming and Excel modeling to assist in various actuarial analytics including in depth rate development. He has assisted with the rate development process for the State of Alabama’s Maternity Care Program as well as for the State of North Dakota’s Medicaid Expansion and CHIP programs.

Stephanie Taylor

Actuarial Analyst
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Stephanie is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Arizona State University. She is currently pursuing her ASA designation and has worked on setting Medicaid capitation rates for physical health and integrated care programs within Colorado and Nebraska. Additionally, Stephanie has developed commercial rates for CHRISTUS’s exchange health plans in New Mexico and Texas as well as developed a Return on Investment projection for Hawaii’s State Innovation Model.

 

Kyle Butler

Actuarial Analyst
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Kyle is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Secondary Education from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing his ASA designation. Kyle uses his skills with WPS programming and Excel to manipulate and summarize large data sets as well as deal with individual claims experience. He has performed work for the state of Colorado that involved modeling the financial impact of rate modifications for various services within their Medicaid program.

Kris Welch

Actuarial Analyst
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Kris is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Fredonia.  He is currently pursuing his ASA designation.  Kris employed his SAS programming skills and data analytics in Excel to model the financial impact of Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska, assist the state of Colorado with developing rates for their Medicaid Behavioral Health program, and build the first capitation rate ranges for the Alabama Medicaid Agency’s managed care transition to reduce costs and improve healthcare.

Preston Denna

Actuarial Analyst
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Preston is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Brigham Young University – Idaho and is currently pursuing his ASA designation. Preston uses his programming and analytical skills with SAS and Excel to manipulate and summarize large claims and encounter data sets. He has developed rates for Commercial exchange health plans for CHRISTUS in the states of New Mexico and Texas as well as assisted the development of Mental Health and Dental Care capitation rates for the State of Oregon.

Elrycc Berkman

Actuarial Analyst
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Elrycc is an Actuarial Analyst at Optumas with a Bachelors in Mathematics from Western Oregon University and a Masters in Statistics from Northern Arizona University. He is currently pursuing his ASA designation. Elrycc uses his programming and analytical skills to manipulate and summarize large data sets in WPS. He also uses his excel skills to create models used in the development of actuarially sound capitation rates. He has assisted with the development of rates for North Dakota’s Medicaid Expansion and Colorado’s Behavioral Health Program.

Joshua Laventis

Informatics Analyst
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Joshua is an Informatics Analyst at Optumas. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Joshua uses his analytical skills in SAS and Excel to manipulate and summarize large data sets for the state of Oregon’s rate development. He also works on additional projects for Oregon which focus on exploring alternative payment methodologies and different mechanisms for controlling costs.

Rachael Rhodes

Informatics Analyst
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Rachael is an Informatics Analyst at Optumas. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics from University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s of Science in Statistics from Arizona State University. Rachael uses her analytical skills in SAS and Excel to assist in setting capitation rates for Colorado CHIP populations. She is exploring potentially avoidable cost rates in Oregon’s Waiver program and assisting HCI3 in rate analysis for Colorado Mesa populations.

Julie Tang

Actuarial Analyst
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Julie is an actuarial analyst at Optumas, currently pursuing her ASA designation. Julie graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science and was an awarded presenter at the 52nd ARC for her honors thesis research on continuing care. At Optumas, she helps set dental capitation rates and models impacts of managed care transition in the states of Alabama and Arkansas. Her other projects include the recalibration and rebasing of MS-DRG payments for the state of Kansas.