Who We Are

About Us

Who We Are

Our Story

About Checkbook Health

The Center for the Study of Services (CSS), Checkbook Health’s parent organization, was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit focused on delivering consumers reliable information on local services and healthcare professionals. By not accepting advertising, consumers have access to unbiased and independent information that they can use to make smarter decisions in the marketplace.

Meet Our Team

The Checkbook Health team is comprised of passionate healthcare advocates with decades of experience.

Eric Ellsworth

Director of health data strategy

Eric Ellsworth is Director of Health Data Strategy at Checkbook/CSS. Ellsworth is responsible for major initiatives in Checkbook’s health-related consumer tools, including health plan decision support tools on public and private health insurance exchanges, physician evaluation, and drug formulary evaluation.

 

Prior to joining Checkbook, Ellsworth worked at RedPath Integrated Pathology, a cancer diagnostics company that combines molecular testing with human pathologist review to assess tumors for their risk of cancer. His work there included leading software development, developing clinical decision support methods, and starting the company’s clinical research program.  The experience of helping build an early stage life science business furthered his interest in the economics and regulation of health care.

 

He holds a BS in Physics from Yale University, an MS in Ocean Physics from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Kevin Moss

Director of Marketing

Kevin Moss serves as the Director of Marketing for Checkbook Health. He has over 20 years of experience at Consumers’ Checkbook leading marketing and fundraising initiatives. During that time he has led the development of Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees by working with federal agencies on customized website solutions to deliver the Guide to hundreds of thousands of active and retired federal employees during Open Season.

During Open Season he holds numerous FEHB webinars for federal employees and regularly appears on the Federal News Network and federal employee podcasts. His FEHB advice columns are regularly featured on FedSmith, Government Executive, and other federal employee websites.

He holds a BS from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Andy Duff

Director of IT Coordination

Andrew Duff is Director of IT Coordination at Checkbook/CSS. His primary responsibilities include managing strategic IT initiatives and overseeing large-scale health insurance exchange projects.

 

Duff has 15 years of professional experience and his responsibilities call for skills in business intelligence, decision support tool design, API design, vendor & client management, and complex data manipulation. He manages the development and operations of consumer facing online decision support tools, including plan comparison and provider directory tools, in Maine, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, California, and Washington, DC. Duff also works with our Healthcare Research Group to implement new technologies to support the implementation of consumer and provider surveys.

 

Duff combines technical proficiency, subject matter expertise, and business insight to produce effective results for internal and external facing initiatives.

 

He holds a BA in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and an MS in IT Management from the University of Virginia.

Phyo Win

Vice President of it

Phyo Win serves as Vice President of Information Technology at Checkbook/CSS, bringing 20 years of B2C, B2B, and nonprofit web/mobile development experience to the position. He leads a team of programmers, designers, and system engineers to implement cloud-based SasS DSS tools for individual and SHOP exchanges in the State of Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and the District of Columbia and a private exchange in California to provide actuarial estimates of out-of-pocket costs for health plans and integrated provider directory portals.

 

Win has worked closely with multiple state agencies, identifying unique APTC calculations and provided example cases to IRS for further clarification. He has also developed internal systems to detect errors in SERFF/PUF data and provided feedback loop to the federal, state agencies and insurance carriers. He also collaborated with many partners and contributed to SERFF/PUF improvements and recommendations for NAIC and CCIIO.

 

He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.

Jen Betkey

Senior Project Manager

Jen Betkey serves as the Senior Project Manager and Data Analyst for Checkbook Health. She has over 7 years of experience at Consumers’ Checkbook leading health plan comparison tool project delivery for Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington D.C. She also serves as the principal data analyst for Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.

 

She holds a BS from Denison University.

Albert Kusi-Appiah

SENIOR HEALTH DATA SCIENTIST

Albert is an accomplished Data Scientist with over a decade experience in data collection, cleaning, analysis, statistical modelling and has over 6 years of experience providing consulting services to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Albert specializes in large dataset analysis using SAS or open-source technology program such as R and python. Albert has extensive experience analyzing Medicare and other health datasets and applying the results in solving policy challenges. Albert also has 4 years of CMS claims data acquisition and developing environment to store and analyze data.

 

Some of Albert’s key accomplishments include using Medicare claims to replicate Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) prospective payment systems for outpatient and inpatient fee schedules. Each year, the Medicare program recalibrate the payment for outpatient and inpatient payment using a complex set of methods that is based on policies and coding guidance. Because of Albert’s several years’ experience in the Medicare space, he was able to combine his Medicare policy expertise and programing/statistical background to successfully replicate the Medicare payment weights for these programs. 

Paul Kallaur

President, CSS Research

Paul Kallaur has been with CSS since 1998, having led the Healthcare Research Group prior to taking over as president in 2021.

Drawing on his extensive research, analysis, and project management experience, he has led the development and implementation of effective, rigorous study designs and survey strategies that take into account question formulation, survey design, fielding protocol, data cleaning rules, data analysis methods, and report usability. He has led the analysis and reporting of study results to provide insight and guidance to those we serve. He has designed and implemented numerous tests to assess the impact of fielding modifications on scores and response rates for CAHPS and other surveys.

Under Kallaur’s leadership, CSS has obtained eight official CAHPS certifications and approvals from agencies like the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Surveys.

He holds a B.S. in mathematics and economics from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Toronto.

Kevin Brasler

Executive editor, checkbook magazine

More than 20 years of executive leadership experience. Directs editorial, research, publishing, and online content operations for the nonprofit Checkbook.org and Consumers’ Checkbook magazine, a consumer advocacy group.

In addition to acting as chief editor and writer for Checkbook, contributes monthly columns for The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Has also contributed to Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine.

Spokesperson for more than 150 TV and radio stories each year that focus on Checkbook’s articles. Recent TV appearances with the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Today Show, WRC (NBC) Washington, WNBC New York, WJLA (ABC) Washington, WGN Chicago, WABC New York, KGO (ABC) San Francisco, KOMO (ABC) Seattle, WBTS (NBC) Boston, WLS (ABC) Chicago, KYW (CBS) Philadelphia, WPVI (ABC) Philadelphia, KING (NBC) Seattle, KIRO (CBS) Seattle, KARE (NBC) Minneapolis, KMSP (Fox) Minneapolis, WTTG (Fox) Washington, WNYW (Fox) New York, WPWR (Fox) Chicago, WCVB (ABC) Boston, and KNBC Los Angeles.

Expert source for a wide variety of consumer topics, including for articles appearing in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, NBCNews.com, NerdWallet.com, Kiplinger Personal Finance, and Consumer Reports.

He holds a B.A. in political science and sociology from American University. 

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