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The Oxford English Dictionary defines cogent as “having power to compel, argumentatively forcible, convincing” — all characteristics Cogent HMG, the Brentwood-based provider of hospitalist services, needs to be in a challenging health care sector that is having to deal with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
CEO John Donahue is a health care veteran known for his progressive thinking and his work on health care economics before becoming leader of Cogent in January last year. His teams provide hospitals with physician systems that fill holes in organizational charts and help clients with technology, consulting and operational processes. That combination of front-line and back-end offerings puts the company in a central position to help clients deal with the nuances of the ACA.
“We continually are asked to help hospitals deal with the provisions of the Affordability Care Act,” Donahue said. “It’s the one thing we hear more than any other right now.”
Of course, the company itself isn’t insulated from the law; the successes or failures of its hospital clients can quickly become its own.
Donahue feels good about his company’s chances in the months and years ahead. He has just come off the road having spent the last year visiting 76 of Cogent’s 100-plus hospitals. He talked with patients, met with doctors and held roundtable discussions with C-suites.
“We met with the CEOs, CFOs and CMOs and discussed corporate strategy and the current health care environment but mostly we talked about ways to deal with the ACA,” he said.
Earlier this year, Donahue moved to better equip his team to answer questions and drive change by hiring John Little Jr. to be his chief payor development officer. Little, a former BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina executive, will look to bring more insurers into Cogent’s fold and more tightly integrate its services with others in and around its hospitals.