As the Director of MMIT’s Advisory and Insights team, Steve Callahan connect with clients to understand their high-priority business questions. His team conducts primary and secondary research that provides clients with the actionable intelligence they need to resolve their challenges and grow their business.
I lead a team of six managers whose teams are responsible for creating actionable insights for clients of our different product lines. Essentially, we conduct primary and secondary research and deliver syndicated reports with actionable, useful information for our clients. We might focus on general trends in market access or provide insights on the impact of market events. We also work with clients one-on-one to design research that answers their most urgent business questions.
With MMIT’s recent expansion into integrated real-world data, we’ve also been figuring out ways to use our claims data—which is connected to payer coverage data and clinical pathway data—for our clients’ benefit. We connect with clients to understand their business challenges, and then we dive into the data to pull out the insights they need.
I’ve always loved science, and I earned both my bachelor’s and my master’s degree in Biology. Once I started working as a scientist and doing laboratory benchwork, I found that I enjoyed the business side of science more. At the time, I was working at a startup. I decided to pivot to market access consulting while I began my M.B.A. I was doing general pricing studies and advising clients on their launch strategies and end of lifecycle planning.
When the MMIT opportunity came along, I expected this role would be a good fit for me—and it is. I enjoy being close to the science, but also figuring out how all the puzzle pieces fit together. How does the product work? What makes a health insurance company decide to cover it or put restrictions on it, and what factors impact physician decision-making about whether to prescribe it? And of course, the patients: what are their considerations as they fill their prescriptions? For me, piecing all these nuances together is really interesting work.
I have a lot of meetings, from project check-ins with my various teams to calls with the commercial team as we talk through how to best tailor an offering for a specific client. Of course, we also have a lot of external meetings with our clients to ensure that we’re all on the same page. We always make sure that the research we’re proposing will completely address their questions and will provide actionable intelligence for them.
My team has been working on finding ways that we can join forces with the experts at The Dedham Group, who are really known for their strategic consulting services for various therapeutic areas. We have developed a few robust offerings that marry our insights from either primary or secondary data sources with The Dedham Group’s expert analysis. I think these engagements will continue in the next few years, as these offerings have been pretty popular.
I would say the highlight of my career thus far has been developing this new offering, which pairs with our Patient Access Analytics solution. We are creating Insights reports that are complimentary either to Patient Access Analytics or to the Patient Access dashboards. My team explores the data using different queries to really get at the driving issues behind the client’s need for this data in the first place.
Part of that remit is understanding how claims data is bridged with coverage and pathways data in order to pull out interesting insights. We then populate these into a report and have a readout of the final presentation with the client and the broader team. It’s really useful, because we’re able to have an in-depth Q&A to ensure that the client is aligned with what we’re investigating.
As MMIT has grown under Norstella, we’ve gained such a wealth of knowledge and expertise in our sister companies. The end result is less of a challenge than it is an opportunity in progress. We’re trying to fully understand our combined capabilities and determine how we can use these new resources and assets to augment what we already offer. We’re distilling this data to figure out which offerings are a perfect pairing with our current solutions to increase their value, We’re able to provide much deeper and richer insights now.
We’re seeing more clients who really want to understand what real-world data is and why it’s so important. My group does primary research with so many different stakeholders, from payers to HCPs to practice managers and patients. It’s always great to get those individual insights, as people will tell you a story that data can’t tell alone.
But hearing those stories in parallel with the greater narrative of what’s happening across the U.S. is invaluable. There’s a huge need for viewing this type of real-world data alongside the research we’re already doing, as it allows us to provide broad insights alongside individual stakeholder insights. Where are those stories consistent, and where do they diverge—and why?
I’d say kindness, empathy, and grace. All of the MMIT principles are important, and a lot are about being bold and trying new things, being innovative, not being afraid to fail. All of those are great, but to my mind, having kindness, empathy, and grace is the most important building block. If we can’t have a positive working environment, how can we expect to succeed? How we treat each other is the foundation of any truly successful company.
It’s important to keep in mind why we do what we do. At the end of the day, it all comes down to smoothing patient access to therapies. We work with healthcare companies, pharma companies, and insurance companies to get there, but the patients are our primary stakeholders.
We should always ask ourselves, can we be doing something differently that would better serve patients? I think the key to MMIT’s innovative spirit is keeping the patient front and center. As long as smoothing patient access is our key driver, we’ll continue to be successful.
MMIT offers great benefits, a good work-life balance, and a world of growth opportunities, but my favorite part is really the culture: it’s just a nice place to work where your coworkers treat you well. There aren’t any teams or people that you dread working with, because as a company, we embrace those principles of kindness, empathy and grace. It’s just second nature at this point. A company’s culture can be hard to define and even harder to change, but at MMIT, we’ve got that one down. It’s really nice to work with great coworkers in a supportive environment.
When I can, I love to travel, and in fact we just got back from a trip to Aruba. But in the day-to-day, I just enjoy hanging out with my wife and my dog around the house, around town. We take walks to the beach, which is about four minutes from my house in Connecticut. I also like to play disc golf and fix up the house, which is a never-ending project.