Spotlight on MMIT Team

Chris Webb

March 19, 2020

Chris Webb is the director of product development at RJ Health, a division of MMIT. Webb began his journey with RJ Health in 2003 as the company’s fourth-ever employee. As the director of product development, he leverages his extensive client experience background to ensure our solutions are supporting client use cases, and solves key business questions within the health care space.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your role?

Interacting with our clients is at the core of what I do.

Chris Webb is the director of product development at RJ Health, a division of MMIT. Webb began his journey with RJ Health in 2003 as the company’s fourth-ever employee. As the director of product development, he leverages his extensive client experience background to ensure our solutions are supporting client use cases, and solves key business questions within the health care space.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your role?

Interacting with our clients is at the core of what I do. I take all the information that I gather from our conversations and then put our data to work for them in a way that will solve their day-to-day challenges. As the director of product development for RJ Health’s ReimbursementCodes.com, I come up with new ways to leverage our SaaS (Software as a Service) applications and workflows. I’m proud to say that this product is on its 20th year.

What is your background, and how did you join the company?

I have a degree in elementary education and psychology. I did my student teaching in my last semester of college and didn’t get a teaching job right away, so I started working on banking databases as an analyst. When the tech market bubble burst in 2003, I was a free agent. I was in pursuit of a new job and landed an initial project working for RJ Health. This involved a large snail mail campaign in which they were offering a free 30-day trial. I was able to catch the issue and reprint the needed page. Once completed, the owner said, “hey, we can use someone to help around here, do you have a resume?” I dropped off everything in the mailbox, went home, took a shower, shaved, put my suit on and came back in 30 minutes with my resume for a formal interview. When I was hired, I was employee number four and we worked in a garage behind the owner’s house just like the Ramones or the Apple guys. Fast forward to today and I am now a part of a 300-employee operation, so it has been a very interesting evolution.

What’s your day-to-day like as product director?

We’re always looking at different releases and enhancements to the product. I work with a variety of teams internally, from IT to clinical data operations, to make sure that I have the data and answers needed to present to a client. I work through the logic to make sure that all workflows and calculations are presenting correctly through the SaaS application and act as a translator between the tech and our clients’ needs. I do a lot of training on the product and act as a subject matter expert. The one thing I really love about my job is that I get to problem solve in real-time. I link different pieces of data together, chase the logic behind it and deliver an outcome that’s of value to our clients.

I enjoy the challenges of identifying various marketplace needs. With the MMIT integration, I’ve been involved in connecting the world of coding and reimbursement to policy and restriction information. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do by layering in these different datasets.

What are some common problems you solve for your clients?

I help them understand the complexity of the relationships in our data. You are dealing with codes that are based on strength and dose administration — combine that with products and NDCs (National Drug Codes) that are in a completely different unit of measure. Converting from one to the other can be challenging. That’s where my education background comes into play. The first step I take during these client conversations is to understand the type of person I am dealing with, whether it’s a seasoned coder or someone that is fresh to their role. I spend my time creating a learning track based on each individual, and try to make it as intuitive as possible to give our users the proper information they need and reduce any confusion in such a complex world.

What’s been your biggest victory with the company?

I’m still here. In all seriousness, I’m really proud of the longevity of our business and I value the relationships we have with our clients.

What industry trends should clients be looking out for?

The automation of integrating different datasets and logic through an API (Application Program Interface) will be a game changer. In the niche component of medically covered pharmaceuticals, this proactive approach allows our clients to check that coding is done properly before running into challenges like underpayment or claims validation for rebate initiatives.

Transparency of pricing and coding will go a long way in aligning payers and providers. There’s no magic bullet out there, but this bookend strategy is something that I hope we see more of in the future.

What’s exciting about RJ Health’s new relationship with MMIT?

Having access to these two distinct sets of data! I’m looking forward to gaining more insights across pharmacy and medical benefit drugs. They seem different, but they do have many connecting points. I am also enjoying collaborating with new teams that specialize in targeted areas like oncology. We now have more tools to keep a pulse on what’s going on in the market and get ahead of drug spend.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My colleagues. I’ve never been accused of being serious, people still laugh at my jokes and I like to interact with everyone I work with. With my troubleshooting nature and the complexity of our data, I approach providing client solutions as solving a jigsaw puzzle with our team. Everyone chips in. Some start with the edges, some look for images or colors. Everyone brings a different perspective.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Mostly, I’m a family man at this point in my life. I met my wife, Natalie, on a blind date 10 years ago. We are blessed to have three daughters: Abby, 6; Ella, 4; and Margaret, 2.

I enjoy cooking, playing golf (ball and disc) and going to wineries/breweries. I have a large vinyl record collection — probably way too many — with a record player in my office.

Baird Stiles

February 20, 2020

Baird Stiles is the Senior Vice President of Product Management within MMIT’s pharma vertical, joining us in October 2019 from JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is a certified Scrum Master and Agile Coach, and has a long history in the market access space as one of the early members of Fingertip Formulary. Stiles also led the healthcare product vertical at Thomson Healthcare for 10 years. Stiles’ team is focused on solving the challenges of market access professionals,

Baird Stiles is the Senior Vice President of Product Management within MMIT’s pharma vertical, joining us in October 2019 from JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is a certified Scrum Master and Agile Coach, and has a long history in the market access space as one of the early members of Fingertip Formulary. Stiles also led the healthcare product vertical at Thomson Healthcare for 10 years. Stiles’ team is focused on solving the challenges of market access professionals, addressing their daily needs in a holistic, efficient way as the industry experiences rapid change.

What’s your day to day like?

Well, when my kids ask me what I do I usually tell them that I’m a professional emailer and meeting attendee. But in all seriousness, I spend most of my day thinking about how our clients are managing their day. I think about what challenges our customers are facing and what their workflow is like for that day. I read our data and product alerts, glance at industry happenings, and I think about how those may be impacting our clients, and I try to bring their perspective to our team. I meet with our product managers and teams and attempt to convey the perspective that the value of our products and the drivers of our product strategy should consider the daily challenges that our clients face, and we should focus our efforts on solving those problems.

What’s coming up on the product side in 2020 that you’re most excited about?

I’m super excited about our new Radar alerting module. It brings relevance and immediacy to the constant changes that are happening in this market, and we are able to paint the landscape on a minute-by-minute basis for our customers so they are better able to understand how to optimize their teams and efforts in order to achieve their business goals.

The alerts are a really good example of how we get market feedback, bring it back and analyze it with a group of smart people, then think about what’s immediately executable and how to determine the highest business value of the work that we do for our customers. The customer value is especially high in such a complex scenario where the data is changing minute-by-minute. Those shifts in the market can have a significant impact on our clients’ goals. For us to be able to help them achieve their goals, I visualize the value flow from our data collection, to our technology stack, to our product user interfaces, all the way into the hands of our customers. I think about the entire broad vision of how everything we do fits into that continuum.

I’m also extremely excited about some of the new initiatives that are coming out of the product team, such as Advanced Oncology Analytics and Real-World Evidence. I’m also constantly thinking about enhancements to our foundational products, Analytics and our promotion suite.

How do you see MMIT growing over the next few years?

My email signature says “Ancora Imparo,” which essentially means “I’m still learning,” so I think all of us are on a quest to improve everything that we do every day. In the next few years, I see us continuing to scale and expanding to an enterprise solution provider that has both syndicated solutions, as well as a company that has our finger on the pulse of the customer needs and constant changes that are happening in the market. I see us becoming even more of a market leader, and also an innovation leader.

What are some of the challenges of market access that MMIT is in a unique position to help with?

As market access evolves, the complexity of utilization management and restrictions to market access drives a need for harder-to-surface elements of policies and coverage documentation. The complexities of drugs being covered on the medical benefit, drugs being covered within a line of therapy or within a regimen or in combinations, drives the need for us to provide even more detailed information. As your market access team strives to get information refined more granularly, and to have it mapped and culled into a more useful and immediate delivery, it brings big challenges to the industry. We can offer solutions through not only our technology, but through the knowledge base we have on our teams. We have very experienced people who have grown their careers in the market access space who know all of the nuance and difficulty it takes to bring clear, concise responses to very difficult questions and present it all in a way that is immediately actionable.

Why is oncology one of the most important spaces to watch in market access?

Oncology has the most new drugs coming to market. A large portion of our clients’ budget is focused on figuring out how to communicate oncology access options, and it’s simultaneously one of the most complicated scenarios to visualize and provide immediate responses to. It’s an extremely hot topic within market access. When our teams and clients think about oncology and other complex spaces such as immunology and rheumatoid arthritis, there’s not a single lens that can be used to look through when it comes to a market access strategy. The focus we’re putting in these complex areas helps the company, helps the industry, and at the end of the day helps the patients.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is interacting with the people at MMIT and interacting with our clients. I consider us all partners, all coaches of each other and all students of each other. When we interact every day, we’re collectively working toward bringing solutions to market, and I really like the debate, the level of commitment, the intelligence and the market knowledge I get to interact with on a daily basis.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have two teenagers. My son is a sophomore at Northwestern University and my daughter is a junior in high school, so I spend as much time as I possibly can (and as much time as teenagers will allow) having fun with them. I play bass in a classic rock band and share a strong love of music with my kids, who both play multiple instruments. I’m also an endurance sports enthusiast. I ran my 19th marathon in 2019 and plan to run my 20th in 2020. I do Iron Man triathlons, open water swim competitions, long bike races, and I’m also a hot yoga enthusiast. Working on our health is one of the few things that we can control in this world, and to take control of that is really important to me. I find enjoyment not in just the physical side of it, but the mental side of finding moments of clarity in doing something difficult.

Mike Maggs

January 27, 2020

Mike Maggs is an account executive at MMIT, and joined the company in 2017 just a few months after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Penn State University. He worked in business development for a little over a year before transitioning to the inside sales team, where he works to align potential clients’ needs with solutions from AIS’s Directory of Health Plans (DHP), MMIT Reach and Payer Landscape. In 2020, Maggs is taking on a new role as a strategic account executive.

Mike Maggs is an account executive at MMIT, and joined the company in 2017 just a few months after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Penn State University. He worked in business development for a little over a year before transitioning to the inside sales team, where he works to align potential clients’ needs with solutions from AIS’s Directory of Health Plans (DHP), MMIT Reach and Payer Landscape. In 2020, Maggs is taking on a new role as a strategic account executive.

What’s your day-to-day like?

From the moment a potential client indicates interest in our products to the close of the sale, I’m responsible for the management of the account and any of their future renewals. My day is mainly focused on client calls. Whether it’s a discovery call, a capability demonstration, delivering proposals or managing renewals, it all falls under my day-to-day. I’m always working with the marketing team as well, to hone in on any specific accounts or further develop some of our strategies in connecting with potential clients. We have the great luxury of receiving a lot of inbound leads within inside sales, so while we do have our own outbound efforts like emails and cold calls, we also have a good amount of inbound interest, so that really helps with having more qualified sales opportunities.

What’s the sales process like?

Once a potential client is interested, I’ll set up a discovery call to understand their needs and what’s most important to them. Then we’ll have a capabilities demonstration, and walk them through the platform and further hone in on what solutions might be the best fit given their needs. From there, there can be other demonstrations with additional team members, then I’ll start having follow-up conversations and answer any questions or get any feedback. After that, I’ll finalize the scope of the solution they need and push the sale forward.

What kind of clients do you work with?

Mostly, I work with health care technology organizations, so companies that are targeting health plans and health systems that can really benefit from DHP and MMIT Reach for sales and marketing purposes. I also work a lot with some smaller pharmaceutical manufacturers who utilize our products, as well as medical device and genetic testing companies.

I like the fact that we sell to so many different types of clients. It’s great that DHP can be used in so many different ways, and that’s what makes each sale a little bit different. A lot of my calls are unique depending on the type of company, whether they’re a small or large organization, a lot of different factors. It all has an impact on what they care about, the level of detail that’s needed and the type of work that they want to accomplish. It keeps things interesting.

What are some of the challenges of an inside sales role?

The time management factor can definitely be a challenge, because you’re always closing deals. And it’s challenging to keep that pace flowing, building up your pipeline and getting into a rhythm so that you can safely forecast what you’re going to bring in a few months down the road and ensure you’re going to hit your sales metrics. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it, though, because you’re always staying busy and there’s always something to do. I think the fact that you’re always closing and have that repetition can give you a lot of experience that can help you move up to a more senior position. Knowledge of the sales process and the research you need to do to get into the nitty-gritty of clients’ questions provides a really strong foundation. Within a few months’ time, I was very knowledgeable about our products and the types of clients we work with.

What’s a common issue you help clients with?

Our clients are interested in using our data and software as a sales and marketing tool, to develop contracting strategies or to monitor the health plan and health system landscape for market research purposes. When our clients strike up conversations with health plans they are more well-equipped and better prepared for those discussions using our data and our software.

How is MMIT poised to help with the current trends we’re seeing in the industry?

With our products, you have that transparency into health plan consolidation and movement within the industry. Plans are always entering or exiting into different geographies and there’s a lot of movement going on specifically within Medicare and Medicaid. We’ve also seen a transition of the management of drugs from plans to health systems and integrated delivery networks. DHP and some of our other solutions can help identify those organizations and the decision-makers that our clients might need to get face-to-face with to drive their business forward.

What does MMIT do, in your own words?

At the highest level, MMIT aims to simplify drug access everywhere throughout health care. In my inside sales role, I’m supporting various healthcare organizations and providing transparency into the health plan and health system landscape.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I really like the people that I work with. I think we have a really great group of people on the sales team who are very focused and dedicated to what they do. The team has grown quite a bit since I joined MMIT. There were originally probably around 20-25 people and today it’s well over 50. The inside sales team has grown from one single person to 4-5 people now, so there’s been a considerable amount of growth in the short time I’ve been here. I think MMIT is a great company to work for.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to play golf and surf. Recently I was in Costa Rica on vacation with my family and was able to enjoy both of those out there, so that was a lot of fun. I live down in Asbury Park, New Jersey, so I’m always down by the beach. It’s a lot of fun in the summer.

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

Bob Lombardi

November 21, 2019

Bob Lombardi is the director of policies and restrictions (PAR) data operations at MMIT. Lombardi joined MMIT five years ago as a contractor to aid in the development of MMIT’s Medicare project. From there, he was brought on as a full-time employee where he has worked as a project manager, team manager and director. As the director of PAR operations, Lombardi oversees the day-to-day aspects of all PAR data updates and has played an integral role in launching MMIT’s payer data team.

Bob Lombardi is the director of policies and restrictions (PAR) data operations at MMIT. Lombardi joined MMIT five years ago as a contractor to aid in the development of MMIT’s Medicare project. From there, he was brought on as a full-time employee where he has worked as a project manager, team manager and director. As the director of PAR operations, Lombardi oversees the day-to-day aspects of all PAR data updates and has played an integral role in launching MMIT’s payer data team.

How did you join the company?

My education is in astrophysics and aerospace engineering. I spent the first eight years of my career building satellites for Lockheed Martin. When the plant closed and I was offered relocation, I decided not to move because I wanted to start a family. I made a big career change coming to MMIT, but the many opportunities and recognition of hard work that embodies this company’s culture has been rewarding.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I spend a lot of my day solving problems and answering questions. I oversee the managers of the different PAR teams and make sure they have everything they need to be successful. A lot of that is helping clear any blocking issues for them, but it also includes giving them tools and metrics to keep the teams organized and productive. I also do a lot of thinking, as I am responsible for helping design our operational processes and plan for what’s upcoming.

Can you describe how the data teams you manage fit into the company?

I oversee the PAR segment of the data operations, which is made up of several different teams. Our cycle team maintains our data and ensures it’s timely. Our new indications and prototype teams are focused on building newly sold indications and ensuring they become operational. The new-to-market team is focused on high profile drugs that have recently launched or will be launching into the market.

Can you describe the process for new employees coming onto the team? How they start out as temps, move into a full-time role, and advance within the company?

We strive to put people in the best position to succeed and grow within the company. As people grow into new positions, we often will backfill their role with a temp. Our temps are given the opportunity to learn our data and processes and eventually perhaps find their opportunities within the company.

We have several examples of people who started as temps and have moved up in the company. I’m one of them. I started as a contractor about five years ago. My first task was to build a process for the Medicare project and that turned into a project manager role, which turned into a manager role, which turned into a director role.

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

We’ve been working over the last six months to establish our payer data backbone, and we’ve built a team that is a mix of new temps and experienced employees to maintain that data. Their main purpose is to research and find new formularies and plans and make updates to our payer data structure based on their findings. We’ve recently introduced managed care organizations (MCOs) into our dataset, and the payer data team is responsible for maintaining the payer hierarchy as well. They’ll also be staying on top of some of the bigger merger and acquisition activity that is expected to occur in 2020.

What’s been your biggest victory with a client or the company in general so far?

The success of PAR has been a big victory. I started by managing the precursor to PAR when it became operational, but that process was project-based and not scalable. We analyzed the data and the processes and came up with a way to execute more efficiently. I helped design the data structure, tools, and team. The success of those efforts and our ability to evolve PAR has provided a lot of value for the business and our clients.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

There are a lot of fun aspects to my job, but the people I work with are my favorite. I work with so many talented people at each level who are all working hard toward the same goals.

What are the challenges of your role?

The pace at which the company is growing tends to create new challenges for operations, often in the form of adjusting or creating processes, tools and teams. Solving these challenges requires being creative, flexible and fast.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have two small kids at home, and my life outside here is about enjoying my family. We like to travel and to cook, and when we can, try different local cuisine. We love just getting out with the kids and watching them grow up.