Operations

Keith Giddens

December 28, 2020

Keith Giddens is MMIT’s Chief Performance Officer. He is responsible for helping teams execute on their goals, such as data quality and process improvement. This includes meeting with departments and teams on a weekly basis to help employees develop strategies to meet their goals, and promoting accountability for deliverables that push progress forward. Giddens works with many employees within MMIT, from C-Suite executives to those responsible for executing on larger goals.

How did your background bring you to MMIT?

Keith Giddens is MMIT’s Chief Performance Officer. He is responsible for helping teams execute on their goals, such as data quality and process improvement. This includes meeting with departments and teams on a weekly basis to help employees develop strategies to meet their goals, and promoting accountability for deliverables that push progress forward. Giddens works with many employees within MMIT, from C-Suite executives to those responsible for executing on larger goals.

How did your background bring you to MMIT?

I traveled around the world, working with companies on helping them execute strategic goals. I did that as a consultant with a global firm. We designed and implemented execution plans in multiple industries. I worked with the Carnival Cruise Lines and I also built out the European Hilton Hotel Execution plan. I worked with CEO Mike Gallup on a 2-year project and Iater joined him at MMIT.

What does your day to day look like?

Every day I meet with teams and their leaders, and we look at their execution on their goals. With some of our teams, I’m in the process of helping them build their goals out. We design plans, implement them, coach our teams — everything our people need to execute on their goals.

And when you came on, were there already existing projects you had to work on, or were these processes brand new?

There were things already going on within the company. I was brought in to look and say, ‘What is it that we need to go after?’ And then, ‘How do we get there in an execution framework?’ We’ve got a big project for the 2021 strategic goals and initiatives that I’m heavily involved in now, and I’m working with all of our leaders on setting those up.

Can you talk about a project you’re currently working on?

One of our biggest initiatives is to improve the quality of the data that our clients use. When you get into the technology teams, they have individual initiatives that they’re working on that help to improve the data. I come and help them deconstruct the initiative, break it down, ask who the contributors on the team are and what teams are involved, and then we design and implement the execution plan.

You’ve worked in a wide variety of industries. How has that applied at MMIT?

I’m not an expert in the cruise line industry, or the hotel industry or the banking industry. My expertise is putting in a framework to execute on big goals. I begin by asking a lot of questions, including what the most strategic goals are, and then I help narrow the focus. At a lot of organizations, they’ll have multiple goals. And they don’t get anything done, because there’s too much going on. I help them through what individuals can do differently on a daily basis. But it’s not me coming in and saying, ‘Okay, in order for you to reach this deliverable every month, this is what you need to do.’ No, they know what they need to do, or they’ll come up with it. We’ll set up a weekly cadence of accountability, where they’re on a call, and they’re looking at the scoreboard, and they’re asking themselves, ‘Are we doing what we said we would do?’

That buy-in from individuals sounds crucial to making progress.

When you think about the overall goal of the organization, the decision lives in the corner offices — they have the ability to decide the organizational goal. But when you start to deconstruct down to functional groups, departments, divisions, teams — those individuals need to figure out how their contributions help meet that goal. And when they do that, they own it.

What has been one of your biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenge, without fail, is what we call ‘whirlwind’, the day job. People are very busy. They’re not incompetent, they’re just busy. So what ends up happening in those weekly meetings is someone says, ‘Oh, I couldn’t get to this because I’m so busy.’ That’s why we have this cadence of accountability. If I know that I’m going to walk into an accountability meeting every Tuesday at 10 a.m., and I’ve got to report what I said I would do, and then report on what I’m going to do later, I’m more inclined to do it.

What would you say is the most exciting part of the job?

The most exciting part of the job is when a team can actually see the connection between their commitment to what they said that they’d do, and to the actual goals that they set for themselves. That’s very motivating.

What do you like about your job?

The people. I just like interacting with people. There are all kinds of people. And there are team dynamics where certain teams are very cohesive, and other teams, not so much. Working with leadership to help them see how they can help their team members, I like doing that.

What does MMIT do, in your own words?

We’re trying to smooth access to therapies. It really is the whole purpose of the business. As we improve our data, it will smooth access to therapies, and as we get better at our technology, it will smooth access to therapies. That’s the ‘why’ behind MMIT.

Where do you think MMIT will be a year from now?

MMIT is going to continue to improve and grow. We’ve got our new CEO Mike Gallup, who has built a leadership team that is very deep and experienced. I think in 2021, you’re going to see us getting better in terms of timeliness and accuracy. We’re going to grow, meaning we’ll have more customers and we’ll have more of the market.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a large family, and that’s my free time, really. I have four children that are all married, and I have 10 grandchildren with the 11th on the way. I have some land, and five of my grandchildren live on my property and four live in the area. So every single day, I see grandchildren. We have built anything that a kid desires on that land: zip lines, swings, trampolines, trails, biking, I’ve got a little waterfall, anything that they want to play in. That’s where we spend our time.

Dan Cushman

November 23, 2020

Dan Cushman is the senior director of sales analytics and operations at MMIT. He joined the company in October 2019 to build the sales operations team, which works to drive efficiency among the sales teams and their support staff. Cushman and his team also aggregate data on various products and sales, analyzing that data and making recommendations for actionable insights to drive revenue.

What do you do, in your own words?

My team and I are responsible for ensuring that the internal operations within the commercial team are running smoothly.

Dan Cushman is the senior director of sales analytics and operations at MMIT. He joined the company in October 2019 to build the sales operations team, which works to drive efficiency among the sales teams and their support staff. Cushman and his team also aggregate data on various products and sales, analyzing that data and making recommendations for actionable insights to drive revenue.

What do you do, in your own words?

My team and I are responsible for ensuring that the internal operations within the commercial team are running smoothly. This allows the sellers and all the supporting teams to be more efficient and help drive revenue. We look at sales, analysis and planning, financial operations, information systems, onboarding, enablement and various cross functional support programs. It’s essentially handling a lot of the administrative day-to-day functions within the commercial team.

Can you tell me more about sales operations?

You have the sales team, you have the business development team — the people who help source the deals for sales — and then you have a solution consulting team that provides technical support during the sale, and they all provide a lot of expertise. Then you have sales operations, who handles more of the numbers, process and technologies.

You’ll have sellers who spend too much time with administrative items, like entering data. What my team does is we provide some simplicity to it, we streamline things so that instead of them spending two hours a day on stuff that is not selling, we’ll get that to 30 minutes a day.

Where does the analysis part of your team come in?

If we’re thinking about insights in terms of a general forecasting perspective, we can provide insights on where our pipeline is coming from, where our pipeline is dropping off, where we are losing business and where are our competitors are beating us.

If I see something pop up, and I’m like, “wow, this is a really good insight,” I will float that upstream to my chief commercial officer and say, “this is what I’m seeing. If we change this, it could change the course of revenue, or help expand the business.”

How did you join the company? What in your background brought you to pharma?

I have a history in the health care space over the last 16-plus years; there’s a lot of overlapping connections to the MMIT world. I’ve always had an awareness of market access,

and the prowess that MMIT exemplifies. I was brought on to build out a sales operations function. For me, it was too good to pass up. There was no dedicated team to perform this function, so it was a team of one when I joined last year.

What your day to day like?

Each day is unique in terms of our scope. And to me, that’s what makes it exciting. Depending on the time of the month, quarter or year, along with other factors, it usually involves being deeply engaged in analytical exercises, tackling operational items or simply planning for the next year.

What larger projects have you been working on?

One of the biggest things we’ve focused on is improving the organizational tools we use to track sales. We’re making progress in terms of the data that we’re storing, and the various pieces of information that we’re tracking. This in turn makes it a bit easier to say, “okay, here’s an area that we should be targeting.” It allows our sales team to have an all-encompassing look at their accounts, and what their deals look like. You can’t drive revenue if you’re not capturing the right information.

What’s been the most exciting part of your role?

Being part of an expansion function is really rewarding. You’re able to come in, devise a strategy and work from a clean slate. It’s all been a culmination of my entire career, to kind of say, “what’s the expertise that I’ve gained and how can I apply that to a blank slate to make the company more effective?”

What do you like about MMIT?

For me, it’s the people. There are a lot of really sharp people at MMIT. Everyone’s willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. There’s a real entrepreneurial feel to MMIT, especially for the people that have been here for a while that have seen the company evolve. And for me, that’s in line with my personality, and how I approach business in general.

What does MMIT do, in your own words?

MMIT smooths access to therapies and leverages data to provide transparency across the commercial landscape. I just don’t see any competitors doing things the same way. We’re really in a unique position because of the level of service that we provide and the granularity of data that we provide — it’s of much higher quality than any of our competitors.

Where do you see MMIT in five years?

As MMIT grows as a company, I would anticipate further acquisitions, so there will be a lot of growth, which opens more opportunities for bringing on new technologies, new types of analytics, and new ways of thinking that will make the sellers’ jobs easier.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My wife and I got into kayaking this year, so that’s been exciting to explore a new hobby. We’ve also gotten involved with building Legos, which has allowed us to kind of spend some quality time together without the interference of our various technologies. Outside of that, you can kind of generally find us binge watching shows on Netflix or just hanging out with our four dogs.

by MMIT Team

Meridith Pumphrey

October 27, 2020

Meridith Pumphrey is the product operations manager in MMIT’s product management department. She is responsible for creating and implementing the processes and structures behind all MMIT products. This includes making sure every team in a new product, from inception, product development, management and client experience to finalization and sales, is actively involved. Meridith works with every department at MMIT.

Q: What do you do, in your own words?

A: I manage a lot of the systems and tools that product management uses.

Meridith Pumphrey is the product operations manager in MMIT’s product management department. She is responsible for creating and implementing the processes and structures behind all MMIT products. This includes making sure every team in a new product, from inception, product development, management and client experience to finalization and sales, is actively involved. Meridith works with every department at MMIT.

Q: What do you do, in your own words?

A: I manage a lot of the systems and tools that product management uses. Right now, we’re doing a big rollout of Aha!, a new road mapping software. My favorite part of this job is answering a lot of gray-area questions from across the organization. I get to interact with all the lines of business that support MMIT’s products.

I also collaborate across departments to ensure MMIT gets those products built the way we think they’re going to be built. I make sure everyone is on the same page, and I also do what we call organization readiness, which is getting the organization ready to sell, deliver and support new products.

Q: What’s your day to day like?

A: I spend a lot of time on Zoom in meetings. I also get a lot of direction from our chief product officer, Kris Kaneta, and then enable that direction. I’m constantly communicating and trying to get everyone on the same page. On any given day, I’ll have meetings with at least one representative from across the entire organization, which is really fun.

Q: What are some of the common challenges of your role?

A: We have a lot of different perspectives coming from a lot of smart people across the organization. So, sometimes, distilling what they’re all saying into a compromise solution that works for our clients, and works for us internally as a business, can be a challenge.

MMIT employees are very passionate advocates for our clients and their needs. Product management’s role is to weigh each decision against the business’s best interest. Sometimes those conversations get heated, but at the end of the day, we just have to figure out how to get there together.

Q: What has been your biggest victory with the company so far?

A: There’s a lot of change going on at MMIT because we’re growing pretty quickly. One of the things I’m most proud of is really building some of these teams. They really have understood what we’re trying to do and have embraced positive change.

Q: What are some challenges of the industry that MMIT is in a unique position to help with?

A: In pharmaceuticals there are a lot of really specific niche things that our clients really value. Our knowledge and expertise in the arena provides value and a competitive edge. MMIT is well positioned to support clients of any size. We have some clients that are newer to the industry, that maybe have one drug, and they buy one thing from us and we support them. And then we have really mature pharmaceutical clients that turn into robust partnerships. It’s really special that MMIT has the ability to grow and scale with companies. A lot of our competitors only provide a data file, and you’re done. It’s very transactional but the MMIT approach is to build more of a relationship and partnership.

Q: What are some trends you’re seeing in the data that clients should be aware of?

A: We’re seeing big changes in coverage. People who were formerly covered through employer-based private insurance are moving to Medicaid or becoming uninsured. Our clients are really trying to stay on top of those changes and how it affects reimbursement and pricing for their drugs.

Q: What does MMIT do, in your own words?

A: MMIT makes data. There’s the user interface, which is what clients click into to use the visualizations, and then on the back end is the actual data that powers those visualizations. We design those user interfaces to be fresh and clean looking; we take an awful lot of complicated information and boil it down to what a company is specifically looking for. A lot of what I do is make sure everyone is A) aware and B) knows what to do next. I do some awareness-type communication, and a lot of “here’s what you do with this information, here are your expectations.”

Q: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

A: The most fun part about my job is the gray area; most of the things I do aren’t in black and white. It’s fun and challenging, and always different. And I work with fabulous people. Everyone’s really humble and smart and focused. It’s a refreshing work environment to be in.

Q: Where do you see MMIT one year from now?

A: Next year I see us benefiting from the procedural and structural foundations we’ve been creating in 2020. This year, we’ve been highly focused on creating a shared understanding of the industry and MMIT’s place in it. Our leadership team has fully embraced the need for foundation building. In 2021, those mechanics will kind of click into place, and we will function like a well-oiled machine, which will improve the experience for our customers tremendously.

Q: What about five years from now?

A: We’ll be on the cutting edge of the analytic platforms; we will be the industry standard. I think we will dominate the market by then.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I like to do almost anything outdoors: camping, paddle boarding and hiking. I have a dog named Harold and we like to go on adventures. And I have a boyfriend, Joel, who has three children who are in school. We are doing the whole homeschool thing with them 50% of the time. That’s been fun and challenging. I’m re-learning all kinds of things, like long division.

by Lisa Gillespie

Carol Dunn

September 28, 2020

Carol Dunn is a hunter on the policy and restriction team at MMIT. She finds information on new-to-market drugs on insurer websites, so that health providers can utilize the information to ensure patient access. Dunn tracks down what barriers are in place to these drugs, such as step therapy, specific indications or prior authorizations. That information is then triple-checked by our teams, ending up in the hands of providers who prescribe those new drugs.

What do you do,

Carol Dunn is a hunter on the policy and restriction team at MMIT. She finds information on new-to-market drugs on insurer websites, so that health providers can utilize the information to ensure patient access. Dunn tracks down what barriers are in place to these drugs, such as step therapy, specific indications or prior authorizations. That information is then triple-checked by our teams, ending up in the hands of providers who prescribe those new drugs.

What do you do, in your own words?

I’m in the PAR department, and PAR stands for policy and restriction. It’s not a client facing role, but rather, behind the scenes. I go to the controller websites, which are where insurers like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna store their pharmacy data. The information we collect then creates policies for these medications, information like details on what’s required in order to prescribe the medications.

So I’m at the beginning of the market access puzzle. I find [the data] and I pass it on to the policy team, and they go in and assess that everything is correct. Then that information gets put into Analytics, where the providers can find the documents for what they’re looking for.

We have our team meetings every couple of weeks. Our managers will bring us up to speed on anything that’s new that we need to be aware of, like certain FDA indications that are approved for certain drugs, and not for other drugs. As they find out [new information], we find out. The main thing is sharing of information.

What’s your day to day like?

Right now, I am finding new indications for botulism drugs. That’s my project for the next couple of days. I’m looking at four different drugs right now that all came out with new indications For Botox, one of the new indications is called blepharospasm, which is spasms of the eyelids. The other is chronic sialorrhea, which is chronic drooling. I’m going to the controller websites now to look for criteria for Botox that says that insurers will cover it for these two indications.

There are more than 150 different controller sites, so normally a new project like this will take about three days.

What are some of the common challenges of your role?

My drugs, they’re brand new, they’ve just been approved by the FDA and released. And there’s hardly any information to find on them, so you really, really, really have to go hunt deep. It’s really challenging to go in there and find what you can find, because it’s hidden behind the scenes

But if it’s a medical benefit drug — these are drugs that are provider-administered, like intravenously or through injection — they have more stringent requirements and more restrictions to get the drugs. Trying to find that information is tricky. Sometimes I might not find actual criteria, but we might be able to find proof that it is a medical benefit drug, and that’s enough to create a policy to provide to the prescribers.

What’s been your biggest victory with the company so far?

[Most of my projects are] already mapped out for me. When I get assigned these drugs, there’s already a process that’s been put in place by another department that tells me where to go and what to do. And then I might go to the controller sites, but when I get there, I can’t find what I need.

But I like to dig deeper. When I can find reliable resources on my own, things that were not mapped out for me, I submit my findings to the powers-that-be. If it ends up getting approved, that gets incorporated into the official hunting process. When I’m able to find something that wasn’t provided to me, that’s like a “woo-hoo” moment for me.

What changes are you seeing in the industry that clients should be aware of?

A lot of the insurer websites are starting to batten down the hatches. Some of the nice, beautiful websites that we used to be able to use to find data, they’re locking it down. We can only get in there now with special provider portals.

Also, you might go to the website and it might say, ‘This site has formulary data,’ which means it’s where the drug lives, and it might have prior prioritization forms that are needed. But I’ll go in and open up a page, and there’s nothing there. You have to dig deep to make sure that you find it, and see if really does exist. If it doesn’t exist, you give it up.

What do you like about working at MMIT?

The management, upper level management, is just fantastic. They are all employee-driven, and employee-sensitive as far as our welfare and our safety. And they are very accessible. You can go to this director, go to the office and say hello, and sit down and just start talking.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Well, yesterday was my birthday, and I took my first social outing since March! [We] went to Great Adventure Safari Park in New Jersey and saw lions, tigers and bears…oh my!

Life outside of work has pretty much slowed down for me. I am 64 and married 43 years. At this point in my life, I am much more into being with my family and I’m looking forward to times [when] we’ll be able to get together.

Other than that, I really enjoy cooking. And, since the Parx casino is about 30 minutes away, we enjoy occasional trips there.

Jim Scacco

July 27, 2020

Jim Scacco is the vice president of services at MMIT. He is responsible for product implementation and client support for the organization’s health plan, specialty pharmacy and electronic prescribing businesses. Scacco oversees several of MMIT’s key solutions, such as Formulary Navigator, specialty pharmacy surveys and electronic prescribing data tools.

What do you do, in your own words?

My team and I are responsible for partnering with our clients in key business areas and ensuring they not only understand how to use our tools,

Jim Scacco is the vice president of services at MMIT. He is responsible for product implementation and client support for the organization’s health plan, specialty pharmacy and electronic prescribing businesses. Scacco oversees several of MMIT’s key solutions, such as Formulary Navigator, specialty pharmacy surveys and electronic prescribing data tools.

What do you do, in your own words?

My team and I are responsible for partnering with our clients in key business areas and ensuring they not only understand how to use our tools, but also understand how to leverage them throughout their organization to gain the most value. We are often asked to play a subject matter expert role and act as an industry knowledge source for our payer partners. I also work with the product and technology teams to help them understand client needs and evolve the MMIT tools to better support our client base.

How did you join the company? What in your background brought you to health care?

Earlier in my career, I worked with several members of the leadership team at MMIT, where we were successful in growing and transforming another company to become an industry leader. Back in 2012, those individuals contacted me regarding a new endeavor with a small company called Managed Market Insights and Technology. At that time, they needed someone to help lead and transform the technology group, which seemed like an exciting opportunity. Prior to this, I had led IT organizations for large insurance companies for much of my career, so I had a solid health care foundation at the time. Coming to MMIT to help grow and transform this company seemed like a natural fit.

I led the technology group at MMIT for several years but found myself enjoying the customer interaction part of my position. This led me to move into my current role, where I am tasked with providing an infrastructure that enables high-level support and services to our client base while also identifying ways to evolve our products to continue to lead the industry.

What’s your day to day like?

Every day is a bit different and is dependent on our client needs and industry trends. The one constant is our focus on providing superior support and services for roughly 100 clients, all of which have unique business challenges. During times of new regulatory changes, I spend time researching and understanding those changes and their effect on our customers. Then I engage key stakeholders within our existing and prospective clients to partner on unique ways of solving nuanced business needs. These discussions often focus on new business processes, federal and state regulations and approaches to the ever-changing formulary landscape. From an internal standpoint, I partner with our sales and product leaders to provide insights around industry trends and how this connects to customer needs.

What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?

Every year there are regulatory changes or new offerings in the Medicare and Medicaid businesses. These changes result in enhancements to our products and processes. An example of this is our current project to support regulatory changes for 2021 Medicare offerings. Once product enhancements are completed, we work with our clients to ensure they understand how to efficiently leverage those enhancements to meet government filing and regulatory needs. Another large project is the addition of medical formulary management to our Formulary Navigator tool. There seems to be a growing trend in the industry to have more formality and processes around managing medical drug lists. Partnering with clients and gaining their feedback is paramount to the success of this new offering. Finally, in our electronic prescribing business unit, we are migrating our electronic provider client base to the latest version of our data feeds so they can gain more value from recent enhancements.

What are some of the common challenges of your role?

Understanding, reacting to and communicating the ever-changing federal and state requirements for formulary management and publishing is a challenge for the industry. States are defining more complex and differing requirements at a more rapid pace than in prior years. At the federal level, CMS is requiring more overall management and options, which translates to more formulary oversight and offerings from payers. All this regulatory change requires us to be more diligent in synthesizing these trends, while also being very agile in addressing it so we can meet our payer client needs. Mergers and acquisitions in the health plan space is another challenge. The formulary landscape is constantly changing, especially after a merger or acquisition. Understanding new priorities and being able to react and provide efficient solutions to changing requirements is always a challenge. Creating flexible products that meet a variety of client needs and constantly learning about industry trends and changes has helped us greatly through these challenges.

What’s a common issue you help clients with?

As I said before, one of the most common issues we see with clients is their ability to understand the ever-changing regulatory environment. Most payers have groups that research new legal regulatory requirements, but many times that information does not filter down to the individuals doing the actual formulary management in a way that translates into process changes. In general, payers may be hesitant to directly meet with competing payers and discuss approaches to new requirements, so each company is challenged with coming up with their own solutions to problems. We regularly discuss challenges and solutions with our clients, and as such, can act as a knowledge base hub. Having these discussions allows us to fully understand new regulatory and industry trend requirements from a broad perspective, and provide software solutions, knowledge and processes changes resulting in optimal value to our clients.

What does MMIT do, in your own words?

MMIT is a complex and growing company with several different products geared toward satisfying our client’s needs. At its root, I think our mission statement really gets to the core of what we do: MMIT smooths access to therapies. If you look at our offerings, and the general driving focus of all our teams, this is what we are trying to accomplish through several industry verticals. In the payer vertical, this means helping health plans efficiently manage formularies, satisfy claims and communicate with members and healthcare providers so individuals can get access to the therapies they need.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Spending time with my family, first and foremost. I have two daughters, one in college and one who just graduated. Although we have been states apart for a few years due to college, we try and find as much time as possible to be together. The beach is our favorite place, and we spend a lot of time “down the shore” in New Jersey all year round. When I am not with the family, I also enjoy boating and saltwater fishing. There is never a bad day on the water!

by Brooke McDonald

Jayne Hornung

December 23, 2019

Jayne Hornung is the vice president of pharmacy and medical programs at MMIT. She is MMIT’s clinical subject matter expert, and conducts ongoing research of new indication and policy data while helping the client experience team gain expertise on clinical knowledge. She creates MMIT’s clinical perspectives for all current indications and helped develop the Policies and Restrictions (PAR) data platform. Prior to joining MMIT, Hornung was a medical information scientist at AstraZeneca, a clinical pharmacist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Home Solutions Infusion Services,

Jayne Hornung is the vice president of pharmacy and medical programs at MMIT. She is MMIT’s clinical subject matter expert, and conducts ongoing research of new indication and policy data while helping the client experience team gain expertise on clinical knowledge. She creates MMIT’s clinical perspectives for all current indications and helped develop the Policies and Restrictions (PAR) data platform. Prior to joining MMIT, Hornung was a medical information scientist at AstraZeneca, a clinical pharmacist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Home Solutions Infusion Services, and owned and operated an independent pharmacy until 2006. She is a registered pharmacist in the state of Pennsylvania.

Q: What’s your day to day like?

On top of developing our oncology product, the client experience team comes to me when they have clinical questions that clients are posing to them. In addition, the operations team asks questions about how to assess policies when they are unsure. So I answer a lot of questions about our data and how our clients can find the answers to their business questions through our data. On a daily basis, I create the workbooks [a comprehensive view of an indication, including the drug market basket and pipeline products] for the clinical content in our data and find what’s important in the policies that’s relevant to our clients and that we should be exposing in our data.

Q: You pioneered some of the internship programs at MMIT. How did that come about and how have those programs grown?

We needed some additional clinical support when we were growing for short term sprints. I had remembered when I was in pharmacy school, we had a lot of opportunities to go and work at different companies, and I thought, “Well, why can’t people come here and learn, because this is an interesting experience!” How drugs are covered by a plan and why they’re covered or not is not taught in pharmacy school, but it’s very much a part of everyday life for a pharmacist. We developed three programs with Philadelphia-area schools. This small level of involvement helps recruit students, so they understand what we do when they get here. If they have interest, they can reach out to me.

I believe as we grow, we’re going to need more clinicians here. As these students who’ve had experiences here graduate, we’re keeping in touch with them so when we have openings, they can apply.

Q: What are some of the other larger projects you’re working on?

We are currently trying to create as many oncology indications as possible and a new Advanced Oncology Analytics platform. Right now, I have eight students working for me remotely who are researching oncology indications so we can get the data into the database quickly and we can stand up our oncology offering as soon as possible.

Q: What clinical areas should clients be keeping an eye on?

Oncology is the area that has not truly been managed by health plans, and it’s where drug approvals are growing exponentially year over year. The criteria is also the most complex that we’ll see in policies, so there’s a real need in the industry for pharma companies and doctors to understand how those are managed, so their patients can get access.

Q: Are there any big industry trends that clients should be looking out for?

I don’t think it’s a shift that clients aren’t aware of, but I think as the cost of drugs go up and health plans need to manage those costs, our client success leads are getting questions every day about how the policies are changing, and how payers are changing their policies to respond to the high cost of drugs, and to more oncology drugs being in the market. Those are the big questions that everybody is watching to see what happens over the next few years, specifically in oncology because there’s so much growth there.

Q: How is MMIT poised to help with the current trends we’re seeing in market access?

Since we sit in a unique position between the payers, providers and pharma, we can expose the policy data so doctors understand what pathway they need to follow for patients to get access to the appropriate therapy at the appropriate place in treatment. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can make sure that they’re doing everything they can for patients to get access to the medications that are available on the market. As far as our provider network, we push all of this information out to providers. It’s important that we sit where we can be transparent with all of this information.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

Every day is new. Every day is different questions, it’s never ever the same and it’s not boring. I love the variety in it, there’s always a new indication to stand up, there’s always a new workbook to build. So that and the education part of it are my two favorite things.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

We own a boat, so we go boating almost every weekend when the weather’s nice. I like to travel, and we go boating everywhere, the Chesapeake, Delaware, and my daughter lives in Miami, so we love to go there too. I also love to craft, so I knit and crochet, you name it. I’m a crafter, or “maker” as they call them now.

by Carina Belles