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!