J.R. Thomas serves as Chief Executive Officer of Optum Physician Services, formerly MedSynergies, Inc., a national healthcare service company based in Dallas, Texas. J.R. has served over 20 years as a founding executive of MedSynergies since its inception in 1996. He served as Chief Financial Officer in 1996 prior to being promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors in 1999. The company was acquired by Optum, a division of United Health Group, Inc., a Fortune 20 company in the fall of 2014.
During his tenure at MedSynergies, the company has grown from a vision to over $200MM in annual revenues, over a 30% EBITDA margin and contracted backlog approaching $2B. The Company grew from concept to over 1,100 employees today operating in four national operational centers, not including the global operations capability that was designed to meet the rapid growth of the company. Over the years, the company navigated various business model services, new technology platforms, various acquisition integrations of third party companies as well as the formation of joint ventures with large health systems in the ambulatory space. This high growth rate required the company to acquire various commercial banking relationships as well as negotiate significant internal and external capital structures to fund its growth in addition to internal operating cash flow. With the sale in the fall of 2014, the return to the company’s shareholders was in excess of 10 times invested capital. As of March 2017, J.R. is a Partner in Thomas Marshall Group, L.L.C., a strategic and operational advisory firm.
In 2012, J.R. was selected as the Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region and national finalist for Ernst & Young LLC. He serves, or has served, on the Board of Directors of the Dallas County Community College Foundation which supports the educational endeavors of the largest post-secondary educational system in the State of Texas with over 100,000 students. He is an active member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a select organization of executive leaders who bring business solutions to the Pentagon challenges. He is a advisor to Allies in Service, a privately funded veteran hiring initiative in Dallas. He recently won The America’s Future Series’ Five Star Award for his corporate leadership in the recruiting and employment of military veterans. In 1992, J.R. was a founding member of Camp MaGIc, Inc., the predecessor of Camp Oasis, a national camping experience for children challenged by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (“IBD”). Over a ten-year period, he lead the fundraising efforts as well as operational structure to provide a unique camping experience for over 1,000 youth affected by IBD during that time. Today, Camp Oasis is sponsored by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America using the foundation of Camp MaGIc annually serving over 1,500 patients across the country. J.R. was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1986.
Over his career, J.R. has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership and corporate success in the healthcare field. He has lectured on diverse healthcare topics at various industry meetings including MGMA, AMGA, HFMA and Becker’s Healthcare conference. He has authored and has contributed to over 12 published articles and white papers.
J.R. is a honors graduate with a Masters of Business Administration of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas in 1990. At the McCombs School, he led the reinstitution of a formal graduation ceremony and chaired the Distinguished Lecture Series. In addition to his studies, he also worked as a graduate assistant in macroeconomics as well as an assistant to the Faculty Committee on University Committees.
J.R. holds a Bachelors of Arts in Zoology from the University of Arkansas in 1986 where he received numerous academic and leadership honors. He served as President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and was elected in 1985 to its National Board of Directors as one of three undergraduates across the country.
Prior to joining MedSynergies, J.R held corporate finance bank officer positions at Bank One, Texas as well as Texas Commerce Bank, a regional bank owned by Chemical Bank and now part of JPMorgan Chase Bank. His entry into the healthcare field began at Chemical Bank by financing a venture backed physician practice management company in 1992 that continues today. He joined Bank One to lead and develop a corporate finance practice for emerging healthcare markets where total new loan commitments totaled over $300MM in 18 months. J.R. left Bank One to form MedSynergies in 1996. He started his business career after graduation from the University of Arkansas as the assistant to the president of a private state charted bank’s mortgage division, Twin City Mortgage in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a graduate of Catholic School for Boys in Little Rock where he was an honors student and served as captain of the football team.
J.R. is an Arkansas native where he spent his formative years on the family hay and cattle farm. J.R. and his wife, Natalie and their two daughters make their home in Dallas, Texas.