Thought Leadership

2019 Year in Review


December 6, 2019

James Gordon, President

As another year draws to a close and we look forward to spending time with family and friends, we should pause to reflect on our accomplishments. We have much to be proud of. We do meaningful work that makes a real difference in people’s lives. We are demonstrating our value to our customers, and we are building the relationships that will position us well for future growth.

2019 Goals and Accomplishments

In 2019, we embarked on Cognosante 3.0, an internal framework that recognizes Cognosante’s origin as a health IT startup while acknowledging that our long-term success lies in strategic growth into both new and existing markets. 2019 was focused on developing the structure and controls that will support the company as it matures.

We have long been recognized as an innovator dedicated to the betterment of people’s lives by transforming the health care system. We have supported some of the largest programs in the federal government and done it well. Our customers recognize our dedication and our outstanding performance, as demonstrated by some of our major contract wins this year:

  •  In Military and Veterans Health, we won the $149 million Community Care Referrals and Authorizations Program in support of the VA. Through this contract, we will continue implementation of the VA Health Share Referral Manager, directly improving the care that veterans receive in the community. This win is the direct result of our hard work, and the confidence we have instilled in the customer.
  • In the Civilian division, we won the Cloud Navigator Services Program in support of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This contract enables CMS to deliver enterprise cloud computing solutions to its business owners and community. We began as a subcontractor on this program, and are now a prime, thanks to our positive relationship with the customer. This transition from sub to prime is critical to our cloud strategy and to moving Cognosante’s cloud practice forward.
  • In our rebranded State Solutions practice (formerly HCS), we have won multiple important contracts. In Louisiana, we performed an assessment of the network adequacy of managed care organizations serving the Louisiana Bureau of Health Services Financing program. Although currently delayed, we will develop a cloud-hosted mobile-friendly web portal for the state of Arizona to help manage its Medicaid Work Requirements. Finally, we now provide project management oversight and dashboards as a sub to the Sequioa Project’s eHealth Exchange Hub.

Growth in New Markets

2019 brought an exciting addition to the Cognosante family. The acquisition of Black Turtle Services (BTS) means expansion into markets currently outside of our traditional health IT space, but are nevertheless consistent with our values, culture, and mission. We welcome the BTS team and are excited about the opportunities their expertise will bring.

Each acquisition comes with varying sets of integration needs. I want to thank our corporate support functions for their commitment to ensuring a smooth transition not only for the onboarding of BTS employees, but the continued integration of our J.Lodge colleagues, and the departure of our HCS team. Three M&A endeavors in one year is monumental and I am proud of the employees who helped drive the success of each. There are many moving parts that encompass an M&A strategy, each providing an opportunity to learn and reflect on what we can do better next time. As we continue into 2020, we will become more adept at managing seamless transitions and reducing friction for new and existing Cognosante team members.

The Evolution to Cognosante 3.0

When I joined Cognosante in early 2019, my goal was to build upon what we already do well by adding the institutional rigor needed to move the company forward. The Performance Center led the establishment of our first Enterprise Risk Board to ensure that we are monitoring and managing company risk as we navigate rapid change at Cognosante. We refined and added over 30 new company policies and processes that will grow and adapt with our business, culture, and industry. By strengthening the organizational structure, the financial controls and the reporting practices common to large, publicly owned companies, we can continue to foster innovative ideas, while ensuring that we are using our resources wisely.

Unfortunately, evolution involves difficult decisions along the way. Earlier this year, we sold HCS, which had been a core part of Cognosante’s state practice. We had to decide whether we were going to continue to pursue our existing customer base with little opportunity for growth or allow ourselves to enter new markets.  Through the sale of HCS, we removed the potential for conflicts of interest, and are now able to pursue business opportunities in technology solutions that we would not have had before.

We also had to make some decisions about whether we were utilizing our existing office space effectively. We recognize that closing the Phoenix site and streamlining other facilities were difficult for Cognosante employees, but we found them necessary to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market

Looking Ahead

In January, we will hold another town hall meeting, and we will describe our 2020 goals in greater detail. In the meantime, I can tell you that we have a strong pipeline and opportunities to continue doing outstanding work for our current customers and new ones. We are committed to providing the tools and resources you need to be effective, and we look forward to supporting you in every way we can.

On behalf of the entire leadership team, I wish you and your families a happy and restful holiday season, and I thank you for the work you do every day.