John P. Schmitt Ph.D. - President & CEO

As CEO and Managing Director of Reliance Consulting Group (RCG), John P. Schmitt plays an integral role in advising healthcare clients on managed care processes and health reform developments.  Dr. Schmitt
founded RCG in November 2011.  Prior to starting RCG, Dr. Schmitt was Director, Subject Matter Expert in Managed Care for Navigant, a world-wide healthcare consulting firm. He has over 35 years experience in healthcare consulting, academics and corporation management. He is founder of two medical database companies with numerous insurance company clients. Dr. Schmitt's contracting methodologies have been highlighted in several articles in trade journals published by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), American Medical Group Association (AMGA), and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). He is also a contributor to Accountable Care News and the Managed Care Contracting & Reimbursement Advisor. Dr. Schmitt served as the 2014 Chair of MGMA's Payer Contracting Society Leadership Team.

Recent Experiences:

  • Dr. Schmitt developed a market-based contracting strategy for use by independent medical groups. The strategy addresses contract organization and review, ongoing contract portfolio management, strategic contract planning and renegotiation of payer contracts to include new value-based incentive opportunities. Implementation of the strategy yielded over a half million dollars profit for each of two orthopedic groups, a 15% increase in payer rates for a plastic surgery group and the first orthopedic specialty collaboration with Blue Cross of Michigan. Most recently, the contracting strategy has been successfully utilized by two OB/GYN practices in Tennessee and Arizona.
  • Before starting RCG, Dr. Schmitt was a Director with Navigant, where he oversaw numerous managed care initiatives for a large primary care group practice in the Northeast.  He developed and staffed a systemic care management unit that reduced the loss ratio for capitation members by nearly 10% with documented quality gains.  He introduced multiple payment reform initiatives including a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) certification process, a bundled payment pilot with a regional hospital and Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiatives. He worked with the group's Managed Care Director to activate P4P incentive programs to the point of representing 89% of the group's patients. Dr. Schmitt worked with the group's Blue Cross capitation carrier to lead collaborative efforts in the areas of ACO development, claim audits, Medicare risk score adjustments, member attribution, medical expense reduction and Medicare settlements yielding over five million dollars in financial recoveries for the group.
  • He has recently been a featured speaker for MGMA conferences and webinars on ACO development and value-based contracting.  He completed NCQA's training program on 2011 PCMH Certification requirements and has been Project Leader for numerous accountable care initiatives.

J. Garrett Schmitt, MBA - Consultant

J. Garrett Schmitt is a founding member of Reliance Consulting Group and has over 15 years experience in account management and client relations. He holds an BBA from the University of Georgia as well as an MBA and also has had extensive training in NCQA’s PCMH program. Mr. Schmitt serves as consultant and data analyst for Reliance, specializing in the development and customization of analytic tools for use by independent provider groups and ACO clients alike. He is also experienced with commercial payer contract negotiation and has been instrumental in facilitating new FFS and value-based agreements with accountable care organizations and individual medical practices in multiple states.

James S. Bennie, MHSA- Senior Consultant

Jim Bennie is a healthcare leader who has spent the last 30 years assisting physicians and hospitals to lower medical costs and to improve the quality of care delivered to patients. He has worked for a variety of healthcare organizations ranging from small physician clinics to large hospital systems and insurance companies, like Blue Cross of California. Most recently he was responsible for the operations and financial performance of 9 MSSP ACOs representing 1,100 physicians, 103,000 Medicare beneficiaries and $998 million in medical expenditures. Prior to this position he was involved in the development of 6 Advanced Payment MSSP ACOs.

In addition to his ACO experience he developed and managed 20 IPAs, 70 PHOs, 3 CBOs, and 5 MSOs. He negotiated hundreds of capitation and managed care contracts in very competitive markets, such as California, Texas, Tennessee and Georgia. Positioning providers for the clinical and financial transformation that is required to increase reimbursement in the future is Jim’s specialty and focus.

Jim earned a MHSA from the University of Illinois and a BS in Marketing from Southern Illinois University. In addition, he held licenses for Life and Disability Insurance and as an EMT.

Becky W. Cook, CPA, MHA- Senior Consultant

Becky Cook is a results-driven healthcare leader with extensive experience with employed and independent physician networks. Her experience includes contracting, physician compensation, decision support and business intelligence, revenue cycle, and revenue enhancement strategies. Most recently Ms. Cook has worked as CFO of Memorial Hermann Physician Network, an ACO with both Medicare and Commercial Shared Savings Contracts. While with MHMD. Ms. Cook designed and implemented fiscal and revenue strategies for the Clinically Integrated Independent Practice Association Network and Accountable Care Organization. This was a newly established position for an organization that had been a membership organization for many years. The focus of the CFO role was to establish credibility with payers and secure better reimbursed managed care contracts to benefit the physicians. The Network is a start-up company due to the rapid (24 months) change from an IPA to an Accountable Care Organization with infrastructure required to support contracting, financial management, credentialing and provider enrollment and population management decision support.

Ms. Cook negotiated to bring 250,000 lives to the MHMD ACO within a 12 month period including four large payer contracts for commercial ACO products, Medicare Advantage products and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. She also played an integral role in building the financial infrastructure to effectively manage the transition to an ACO by establishing a contracting/managed care team, building a team of financial and managed care analysts, initiating process improvement projects in the credentialing department, educating the organization on business acumen, and working with the medical director of informatics to establish the decision support system for population management.

Prior to this, Ms. Cook was Director of Finance at Aurora HealthCare Inc., and was responsible for overall financial direction of Aurora Medical Group (800+ employed physicians and 300+ Extenders) including front and back end revenue cycle activities, budgeting and financial planning, physician compensation, decision support, financial reporting and mergers. She also worked as Director of Finance for both the Baptist and Physician Integrated Delivery System in Memphis, TN, as well as Via Christi (SSM) in Wichita, KS. Affiliated Medical Services, Inc. which was the lartgest profvider of healthcare services in Kansas at the time.

Ms. Cook is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and has a BBA from Washburn University of Topeka. She received a Masters of Accounting from Kansas State University and a Masters of Healthcare Administration from the University of Colorado.


Rufus Phillips, MBA 
- Senior Consultant

Rufus Phillips specializes in physician engagement, leadership development, strategic planning and marketing. His current work includes consulting for retainer-based medicine, remote care, and population health management firms as well as TRICARE managed care. He is a Cofounder and Managing Director of PPC Healthcare, which connects innovations in healthcare with capital and strategic resources.

Previously, Rufus served as Executive Vice President of the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) from 2007 to 2014, where he led several successful educational initiatives designed to help Virginia physicians navigate value-based healthcare delivery and payment reform, including accountable care design, population health management and team-based clinical care. In addition, he led collaborative efforts with commercial payers and Medicaid in Virginia to ease administrative burdens on providers. He has served on a variety of physician-led boards and facilitated their strategy, governance reform and board development efforts. Rufus received his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business..

Janelle Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.- Senior Consultant

A former hospital CEO, COO, VP and regional healthcare executive, Dr. Ali-Dinar, has 15+ executive experience spanning the globe from Los Angeles to the Pacific Rim to Rural America working with, for and at several Fortune 100 &500 level companies health systems and commercial insurance companies. She has worked with several urban and rural hospitals across the nation developing C-Suite leadership effectiveness, team building accountability, strategic/succession/sustainability planning, marketing, performance/quality metrics and physician engagement.

Dr. Ali-Dinar is a regular on Capitol Hill representing health system and physicians in areas of reimbursement, quality/patient safety and meaningful use and telehealth, she is a national healthcare speaker and serves on several state, regional and national boards including the National Rural Congress. A recent graduate of the Rural Fellow’s program and leadership scholar at two prestigious leadership programs in the nation, she holds a doctorate in corporate communications/marketing.

Glenn E. Pearson, MHA, FACHE -
Senior Consultant

Glenn E. Pearson, FACHE brings a wealth of practical experience from his 30+ years as a hospital executive.  He combines executive perspective, strategic insights, operational experience, and tactical understanding of the inner workings of hospitals to offer a comprehensive view of complex healthcare problems.  At various times during his 19+ years as executive Vice President of Georgia Hospital Association, Glenn led the following areas:  healthcare finance, data, information technology, emerging and disruptive technology, communications, public relations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

Glenn is a respected healthcare leader, having served with many national, statewide or local committees and organizations.  He was elected by his peers to serve as Regent of the American College of Healthcare Executives, representing Georgia’s 1,500 members to the 40,000-member international association. 

Emerging, disruptive technology has always been a major focus of Glenn’s career.  He was founding president of what has evolved into the Georgia Health Information Network, Georgia’s statewide health information exchange (HIE) and currently serves as it treasurer and chair of the Financial Sustainability Committee.  He was also on the founding board of the Technology Association of Georgia Health Society and later chaired the group.  Additionally, he has served on nearly a dozen committees or advisory boards for data or technology-related healthcare entities.

Prior to serving at Georgia Hospital Association, Glenn was Vice President of Data and Shared Services for the Hospital Council of Western Michigan.  He also has six years’ experience in acute care, having worked at the University of Michigan Health System and Providence St. Johns Hospital.

Glenn graduated magna cum laude and with honors from the Syracuse University Honors Program and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi international honor societies.  He went on to earn a Master of Health Administration degree from the Ohio State University where he was awarded the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence.

Robert W. Keen, Attorney- Legal Counsel

Bob Keen serves as legal counsel for Reliance Consulting, LLC. Mr. Keen has been a practicing attorney for over 27 years, specializing in business and commercial law. Mr. Keen’s practice history reflects his understanding and appreciation of the importance of balancing health care cost management with the provision of high quality of care and appropriate compensation, as evidenced by a client base that over the years has consisted of both health care providers and payers. With respect to health care providers, he has represented doctors, dentists, managed care organizations, physician management and consulting companies, physician associations, physician-owned mutual insurance companies, mental health professionals, and other health care providers.

In the area health care financing, Mr Keen has represented health care insurers and various managed care and cost containment
organizations and programs. He has also provided lobbying services before state legislatures and state insurance departments on behalf of both health care providers and health care financiers, including significant involvement with managed care and tort reform legislation. Additionally, as an essential element of providing legal services to health care providers and health care financiers, as well as other businesses and commercial organizations, he has written, reviewed and negotiated hundreds of contracts over the years, a significant portion of which have been health care and insurance contracts.

Reliance Consulting Group, LLC
  5077 Kingsbridge Pass | Ste. 100
Powder Springs, GA 30127