Rick Dansey serves as executive vice president of CACI International‘s federal civilian solutions group, which generates around $400 million in annual revenue across the fed civil, healthcare and litigation support markets.
The close-to-13-year CACI veteran has led the group’s 2,100 employees since Jan. 1, when CACI separated its Transformation group into Dansey’s group and a business systems solutions group led by EVP Valerie Lyons.
Dansey retired from U.S. Navy service in 1998 as a Lieutenant Commander after more than 14 years in engineering, submarine and other officer roles.
In his health IT-focused discussion with ExecutiveBiz, Dansey talks about the diversity of CACI’s work in the healthcare market, how the company has leveraged M&A to complement organic growth and how big data and analytics help accomplish public healthcare missions.
ExecutiveBiz: What is your and CACI’s role in the Federal Civilian market, especially the healthcare segment?
Rick Dansey: As of January 2013, CACI launched the Federal Civilian business group to focus on the company’s Civilian, Healthcare and Investigative and Litigation Support market strategies. The success of our business in these markets, as well as the dynamic situation with Department of Defense (DoD) budget, created the right time to emphasize the Federal Civilian business group. It’s been a great transition into my role as part of the top management team and I am confident about CACI’s market position and future opportunities.
CACI’s healthcare work began more than a decade ago in the area of medical logistics. CACI has and continues to provide not only the medical logistics support — getting the syringe to the sailor, if you will — but also the systems, integrations, and IT service management of all of the defense medical logistics.
From there, CACI expanded into the Veterans Administration, where we continue to be a prime contractor supporting lifetime electronic records. Just recently, CACI won another award there that continues to strengthen us in this important and growing area.
Recent acquisitions have further expanded capabilities and customers. One was IDL Solutions, which works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide data analytics and program management for insurance data. The other is Emergint, which works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emergint also specialized in data analytics, but around demographics and disease management to identify trends and activities for public health and surveillance purposes.
For us, the healthcare market is a mission‑oriented focus. Medical logistics, healthcare benefits, public health and surveillance, and electronic health records are growing areas.
So, that’s where we’re putting our emphasis; we’re making good strides in each mission and anticipate continued success.
ExecutiveBiz: You joined CACI via acquisition and have worked across the organization. How is the current period representative of your time with CACI as a whole?
Dansey: I joined CACI from an acquisition in November 2001, so I’m coming up on 13 years proper with the firm. From the time we were bought to present, I have enjoyed a great career and professional growth as a part of CACI. I’ve benefited personally and professionally, and CACI has benefited from the acquisition.
One of CACI’s cornerstone growth strategies is mergers and acquisitions. This is an area of strength for CACI – the company makes good investments, integrates well and completes an immersion that brings them fully into the CACI culture and mission. Our recent healthcare acquisitions, Emergint and IDL, were numbers 58 and 59 for CACI over the last 20 years. We are certainly seeing those synergies as the Healthcare team moves forward.
I’ve seen many parts of CACI. Every time I work with a different team or market, I’m just astounded by the quality of the professionals and the work CACI is doing. It really makes you proud to be a part of CACI. I’ve said this a hundred times, but ‘Ever Vigilant’ isn’t just a tag line. It’s our culture. I came from the military and I joined a company that continues to serve our government and country. We really do have people here that do the right thing for the client – that’s why I’m still here.
ExecutiveBiz: How has the initial push been of taking Federal Civilian out of the transformation? What challenges have accompanied that process?
Dansey: I give a lot of credit to my predecessor, Gil Guarino, who as the former Executive Vice President of CACI and has since retired. He established processes and teams of people that have and continue to deliver operational excellence in new business. He did a great job. CACI has great people, and I’m benefiting from it.
Market forces have been a challenge, as they have been for all working in federal contracting. However, CACI remains confident in the growth opportunities with the healthcare market. The mission of healthcare is not going to diminish. While the Affordable Care Act has some uncertainty to it, it is the law of the land and needs to be implemented. The Baby Boomer generation is starting to retire and those needs will continue to grow.
CACI knows the healthcare market is going to grow. CACI will continue to do the right things for the customers in uniform, veterans and the citizens, and we believe that indicates that we’re going to do well.
ExecutiveBiz: What are your customers’ major challenges? What are they facing that you can really help them with?
Dansey: One of the challenges facing the federal healthcare market is electronic healthcare records. CACI believes that electronic records have an important role to play in federal healthcare, and we are working to both digitize records and to facilitate the secure sharing of data. CACI is currently digitizing and converting documents for billions of pages of medical records, including VA claims for the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA). CACI is also continuing its work with the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) at VA, and engaged in data sharing efforts between VA and DoD.
We’re going to be at the core of that data structure and the data integration that has to happen. Data analytics is at the center of the healthcare market, and CACI has unparalleled data analysis experience.
The fact that CACI knows the technical issues, the healthcare issues, the client and the client culture differentiates us from others trying to enter the federal healthcare market. Not all companies have that domain expertise, the systems knowledge, and knowledge of the client itself. That’s something that we’re proud of.
I would like those in uniform and the veterans that served our country to know that CACI is handling their electronic records in an efficient and highly-secure manner. On the insurance and healthcare benefits side, I would like the citizen to rest assured knowing that CACI is helping reduce the cost of implementing the Affordable Care Act in a secure manner.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you incorporate the future of technology products when you look out over future opportunities?
Dansey: There are core off‑the‑shelf products that are in use on the commercial side. Those are certainly products that can be used, but given the uniqueness of specific DoD regulations, many believe these COTS products will need to be enhanced or customized. So, there’s going to be core functions that utilize the COTS features, specific aspects of current systems that will be retained and master data that all applications leverage. .
To determine the best path forward is greater than just a product assessment; it takes an understanding of the entire process of systems integration and mission requirements. CACI is working on that challenge now to develop an answer for the market.
ExecutiveBiz: How does CACI work with data and analytics to make it a core value-add to customers? What is it that you do the best?
Dansey: CACI has experience with big data across domains and the federal market. For example, we have a big data practice in the financial space, where we’re doing analysis around the issues that a comptroller faces. So, that’s a financial decision‑making, decision analysis and business intelligence competency that we have in the financial space. In the intelligence space – and you can imagine the terabytes of data there – our efforts are associated with fighting and analyzing the war on terror. That type of effort is another specific focus of our company that uses data tools, analytics and methods.
In the healthcare space, CACI is working with federal Medicare and Medicaid records on big data challenges. We’re in charge of the MIDAS Program, which is the insurance data analytics system. We produce trend analysis and fraud detection analysis. While tools matter, the biggest value add for customers with regard to big data analytics is taking that domain knowledge, marrying it to analytics experience, and providing new insights and cost-savings in real-time.
ExecutiveBiz: What are some big data security challenges unique to the healthcare space?
Dansey: Everything in the healthcare market must be HIPAA compliant. Integrators and providers need to follow certain tests, regulations and guidelines on tools to ensure the level of security is maintained, which go beyond just securing protected health information. Contractors and agencies cannot be approved as a production system without proper certification and accreditation. CACI has teams that understand those rules –how to design a software solution that incorporates that compliance– in order to attain and maintain certification accreditation.
The overarching theme of all federal healthcare missions is the data analytics piece. There are terabytes and petabytes of data being analyzed, and that is a big data analytics problem for agencies like CMS and CDC, for electronic health records and logistics, and public health. There’s data there that, if analyzed properly and securely, can lead to tremendous savings in healthcare costs. CACI is focused on how to unlock that data to provide the ultimate value to our federal healthcare customers.