As deputy group president of Leidos‘ health solutions group, Jerry Hogge holds general management responsibilities and leads a business development team that works with healthcare customers on projects focused on system quality and effectiveness.
Between 2009 and 2012, Hogge served as the vice president of strategy and business development for the systems and technology solutions business at SAIC, which split into Leidos and a “new” SAIC earlier this year.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, the GovCon business development veteran describes how he came to SAIC/Leidos and the process of helping form the company’s new Leidos brand in the healthcare sector.
Hogge also overviews Leidos Health‘s acquisition strategy to bring in new commercial offerings as a complement to work in the federal market.
ExecutiveBiz: When did you join SAIC/Leidos and what have your priorities been since?
Jerry Hogge: I originally joined SAIC in 2009 working with the part of the company that is primarily focused on providing engineering services to the Army and other parts of the DOD. In August 2012, I had an opportunity to join Steve Comber who is our group president for Leidos Health.
I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to join a team that does important work in the healthcare IT field for both commercial and federal customers, and was pleased to be selected for the role. I’ve been a part of Leidos Health since that time.
It has been a busy year. It’s been a challenging year. The federal marketplace has been up and down with sequestration, budget debates and the government shutdown. We’ve all followed it in the press and these are all unique, indeed historic, market challenges.
It has been an exciting year as well. We split the former SAIC into two companies. As noted, we are now called Leidos Health, and through the split we stayed focused on what we do best: providing excellent health IT services to our customers, providing them whatever they need in whatever circumstances they may operate in.
We principally face our key federal healthcare customers across six market‑facing units; Military Health, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, CDC, parts of the Army that focus on medical research, and parts of the DoD that address behavioral health issues.
Our focus has been growing the business by providing the best services we can in the best way we can to those customers. It’s been an exciting time for the new Leidos Health, despite challenging market conditions.
ExecutiveBiz: How does Leidos Health view and approach the federal health industry in light of the events of sequestration, predetermined delays, and other circumstances?
A significant component of Federal spending and the U.S. economy is healthcare services and health information technology, total spending on healthcare in the 1960s, represented 5 to 6 percent of our economy, and today it’s roughly 17 percent. And that growth trajectory continues.
The budget debates, the debt ceiling debates, the government shutdown, punctuate, what otherwise is going to be a steady growth market for Leidos Health.
We have an aging population in the U.S. that requires increasing levels of healthcare, and so whether it’s federal health agencies or commercial hospital systems or the local physician, everyone is challenged to provide better healthcare, more comprehensive healthcare, and to do so in a more cost‑effective manner.
Thus, our strategic focus in providing health IT services is helping all of these customers, federal and commercial, to deliver better healthcare in the most cost‑efficient manner.
So despite the sequestration, despite unpredictable interruptions in the typical pace of procurement activity, we remain focused on our customers. They have urgent requirements. They have needs that need to be met. The legislative and governance issues give everyone in the business ‑‑ our customers included ‑‑ fits and starts.
Procurements are put on hold depending on the budget debates, depending on the resolution of the debt‑ceiling debates, but in the long run those issues will be resolved , and we will back to a more normal pace of business.
ExecutiveBiz: What are the differences between working in the public and commercial health markets?
We have developed a great deal of expertise over the last two-and-a-half decades on the federal side and as we have discussed, we recently acquired substantial and similar health IT capabilities on the commercial side with our acquisitions of maxIT Healthcare and Vitalize Consulting Solutions.
These businesses are focused on providing electronic health record implementation consulting and optimization services to commercial health entities. At bottom, the services provided to each market segment are very, similar, and that was part of the strategy for acquiring those two businesses. We’ve been building and implementing electronic health record systems for our customers on the federal side for the last 25-or-so years.
With these acquisitions, we are now one of the largest firms in North America that implements and optimizes electronic health record systems commercially. These capabilities are a natural complement to our Federal experience and expertise.
The key difference at the end of the day is the acquisition cycle. On the commercial side you can have a very aggressive and accelerated cycle; on the federal side, it’s far more procedural. The federal acquisition regulation guides and governs all that we do when it comes to Federal procurements, and simply is a highly structured competitive process for the way the federal government acquires products and services.
If you are an active military or one of our nation’s honored and respected veterans, whether you need medical care at a military health treatment facility or the local hospital, Leidos Health has expertise and experience in both of those environments providing health IT services that enable high-quality healthcare services to be delivered in a cost‑effective and efficient manner.