Thought Leadership

Joining Forces to Help Change How Healthcare is Delivered, Especially to Veterans

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Author: Y. Michele Kang
Y. Michele KangFounder & Chief Executive Officer

December 14, 2016

Veterans have already sacrificed so much to defend our country. They deserve the best possible healthcare.

That’s why Cognosante has joined forces with Business Information Technology Solutions (BITS). Together, we’re combining our industry-leading health information technology solutions and services to help solve critical issues for those who have proudly served our country.

In June 2016, a commission tasked by Congress to evaluate the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) released a report that highlighted the organization’s strengths and challenges. The commission concluded that the VA delivers care that is “comparable or better in clinical quality to that generally available in the private sector,” but they also face challenges similar to those in commercial healthcare, such as efficiently leveraging the rapidly evolving information technology (IT) landscape to empower true healthcare transformation.

Connecting the Dots
The good news? Transformational changes are on the way. The VA has launched MyVA, a multi-year initiative aimed at significantly improving how healthcare is delivered. And the recent union of Cognosante and BITS promises to enable better, faster, and more personalized healthcare for Veterans.

Cognosante recognizes that the challenges in Veterans healthcare are extremely complex and can be best addressed by companies that have a unique set of experience and expertise in healthcare, insurance, beneficiary engagement, analytics for decision support, interoperability, and IT.

“Everyone wants to connect the dots, but they don’t have access to all the dots,” says Cognosante founder and CEO Michele Kang. “We do. We know insurance, we speak the language of health IT, we understand the challenges providers face, and we care about the obstacles beneficiaries have to overcome. It’s time to bring that expertise together for our Veterans.”

Veterans Helping Veterans
BITS is a Veteran-founded business and a recognized leader in transforming data into solutions. Work with the military and the VA accounts for more than 60 percent of BITS’s current business, and nearly one-third of BITS employees have served in the military. BITS understands the healthcare challenges of Veterans as perhaps only a fellow Veteran can.

“We’re very focused on the Veteran community. It’s close to our hearts,” says Dan McQuay, BITS’s founder and CEO, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years. “The shared strengths and synergies between BITS and Cognosante make for a great union.”

Cognosante has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Veterans’ issues. Michele Kang is cofounder and national chair of the Women’s Veterans Committee, which supports and mentors female Veterans. In recognition of her dedication to improving the lives and prospects of the nation’s 1.4 million female Veterans, the group Million Women Mentors recently awarded Kang its Veterans Service Award.

“I’m excited to see BITS and Cognosante joining forces to better serve Veterans,” says Josh Herring, director of project management infrastructure for Cognosante. “My parents and both of my grandfathers served in the military. I understand how important it is to serve this group after they have served us.”

The pairing of Cognosante and BITS comes at a critical time for reform at the VA. In March, BITS was named as one of 21 contractors for the VA’s $22.3 billion Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation acquisition program, also known as T4NG. Specifically, T4NG will deliver technical support, program management, strategy planning, systems/software engineering, enterprise network engineering, cyber security, and other health-related IT requirements. T4NG supports the MyVA transformation effort by helping the VA meet and strengthen its long-term technology needs.

“Together, we will be that partner that actually makes a difference in the military and the VA,” says Scott Walter, a director at Cognosante and a U.S. Air Force Veteran. “The acquisition of BITS will help us do that. I’d like for our joint company to be the firm the military and the VA go to first.”

A Proven Track Record
Our combined company can assist the VA as it modernizes its systems, increasingly interoperates with third-party care providers, and manages increasingly complex health data in an effort to make care more efficient, effective, and accessible to all Veterans.

Cognosante has nationally recognized experts in clinical and claims data, offers deep experience exchanging and analyzing electronic health records, and provides benefits adjudication and fraud, waste, and abuse detection services. We help state and Federal partners manage the challenges posed by Medicaid modernization, keep up with changing regulatory requirements, and address the increased focus on interoperability, program integrity, and data analytics.

Cognosante also provides Medicaid program management, health insurance eligibility and enrollment support, customer contact center support, and health data standards expertise and operations to a wide range of state and Federal customers. Our expert consultants support state and Federal agencies in the planning, design, development, implementation, and operation of effective information systems. The resulting increases in efficiency, accessibility, and responsiveness help to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of the citizens our customers serve.

“If it’s health-related or data-related, or making something administratively elegant and automated, that’s our sweet spot,” says Len Discenza, Chief Growth Officer at Cognosante.

Making a Difference
In the end, it all comes down to the human element—enabling Veterans to receive the quality healthcare they’ve earned.

Both Cognosante and BITS have long believed that it’s a privilege to serve Veterans. Now, our combined company is embarking on its greatest challenge yet: to help the VA transform its healthcare system so that it works better for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country. “I think we can really make a difference,” says McQuay.

Author: Y. Michele Kang
Y. Michele Kang Founder & Chief Executive Officer

A visionary in the field of health information technology, Michele founded Cognosante in 2008 to disrupt and challenge the status quo in the U.S. healthcare system. Leveraging a unique set of business, data, and technology expertise in a fundamentally different way, Cognosante provides innovative solutions central to carrying out national healthcare transformation. Under her leadership, Cognosante has emerged as one of the most trusted partners to key Federal and state health agencies, while growing profitably over 60% per year in the past five years.

TOPICS: Military and Veterans' health