Spotlight on MMIT Team

Kim Smigiel

May 24, 2021

Kim Smigiel is just a few months into her new role as a client success associate — but she’s not new to MMIT. Smigiel started her career at MMIT 16 years ago on the operations team, working as a data entry technician. She has since been promoted to many other operations roles, and most recently advanced into managing our Keystone clients.

Kim Smigiel is just a few months into her new role as a client success associate — but she’s not new to MMIT. Smigiel started her career at MMIT 16 years ago on the operations team, working as a data entry technician. She has since been promoted to many other operations roles, and most recently advanced into managing our Keystone clients.

What are Keystone clients?

Keystone clients are typically smaller pharma companies that mainly have one or two brand products in their business portfolio. They tend to only license a small subset of MMIT solutions.

Tell us about some of those solutions.

The two most popular solutions we offer are Analytics and FormTrak. Analytics, the most popular offering, provides our clients with market access information. It has all of our formulary and PAR (policy and restriction) data. Clients can quickly go in and see how their drug is covered, and compare their coverage to competitors. The FormTrak tool is used to promote their brands. The clients’ field sales teams use it to create promotional cards about their products to leave in providers’ offices or send them via email.

What is your work day usually like?

Since I am new to this role, I am meeting my clients and working on understanding their business needs and learning how to better align those needs with MMIT’s solutions. I’m answering their data questions and assisting with access to our tools. I also help my clients understand how we collect our data. I’m here as their main point of contact to help them navigate their day and address any inquiries they may have.

Which departments do you work with regularly?

I interact with a lot of different groups across MMIT. I work with the data operations team if I need assistance with some of the data, and I also work with the client care team to assist with resolutions for inquiries they receive. Then I work closely with sales to ensure clients’ needs are being met. I work everywhere because I’m trying to solve clients’ questions, and I go wherever I need to go to get the answers.

In your own words, what does MMIT do?

We help our clients see how their drugs are covered, provide that market analysis, and ease that access to care. There are so many drugs out there, and so many different types of coverage, and we try to standardize it so it makes sense to everyone.

What are some challenges in the industry that MMIT is in an unique position to help with?

Drug coverage is complicated. Reading some of these policies for something like prior authorization is confusing and complicated, and could be interpreted in so many different ways. Having knowledge of formulary coverage and being able to help our clients understand it puts MMIT in a great place. Our clients value MMIT’s ability to provide all of this information in a platform that puts it into a universal language. MMIT is known for its data and accuracy, and I think that’s what helps us be successful.

What’s been one of your biggest wins so far in the new role?

Whenever there’s been a need for something new for MMIT to explore, I’ve been the person tasked with getting a new group started. That trust and my work ethic is something I pride myself on. And the company has seen that and recognized that.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I like that every day is different. There’s always a new question or a new challenge that comes up.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am married, and I have two daughters. We like to hike and go camping, and both our girls are involved in Girl Scouts so I am heavily involved with that.

Sam Kale

April 26, 2021

Sam Kale is a vice president of product management at MMIT. He joined the company in August 2020, and leads a team that builds and support the tools that clients use to ensure patient access to treatments and therapies.

What do you do in your own words?

I usually lead with, ‘I build stuff.’ At MMIT, we build data into information. My team helps present that information to clients, so they can make good,

Sam Kale is a vice president of product management at MMIT. He joined the company in August 2020, and leads a team that builds and support the tools that clients use to ensure patient access to treatments and therapies.

What do you do in your own words?

I usually lead with, ‘I build stuff.’ At MMIT, we build data into information. My team helps present that information to clients, so they can make good, informed decisions about getting their patients through care, and ultimately, to have ailments resolved so patients can get on with their lives.

What led you to MMIT?

My most recent background is in product management and product marketing. I was most recently with Sodexo Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and General Electric in their health care divisions. So I’ve been a health care person for pretty much my entire career in product marketing and product management.

How does product management work at MMIT?

In the product management function here at MMIT, we deal with two or three major questions. One of them is: What should we make? What helps get our clients’ jobs done better and faster? The second part is: How should we make it? The third thing is: How do we support those tools from an ongoing perspective to make sure the products are performing up to expectations?

What is your day to day like?

I spend a lot of time together with my team trying to think through those three questions. There are a lot of face-to-face discussions and brainstorming sessions. And every now and again, a client will file a bug report and we’ve got to put our heads together to figure that out.

What has been one of your biggest challenges so far?

I don’t come from a software-as-a-service background. My professional background is mostly in medical devices and those types of things. It’s a bit of a different thought process, and a slightly different flow. In the first couple of months, I was learning all of our databases and processes, and how we go from data to information. That was (and still is) quite a steep learning curve for me.

What’s been one of your biggest successes?

One that stands out is a nice commercial win that just happened, which was a lot of fun to be a part of. The sales and commercial teams did so much hard work on that one. It was fun to be part of that process and see all of those people work.

What departments do you work with most at MMIT?

I spend a lot of time working with my team, thinking through product requirements and planning the work that we need to do to build stuff. Also, I spend a good deal of time with our technical teams, and with the commercial side of the house as well. I’m spending more and more time with our clients to get direct feedback and input from them on some of the things we’re thinking of building, which is really nice.

What do you see as a big trend in health care?

Health care delivery is getting so much more complex these days, between the different types of ailments that people have, and then the treatments becoming a lot more tailored. Precision medicine is a rising theme. I think that’s an interesting space, not just from a scientific perspective, but also how it flows down through market access. It leads to complexities with coverage and how to figure out what’s covered and what’s not. And that’s a space MMIT fits into nicely, helping our clients understand and interpret those complexities.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is solving the puzzles that come with all this. A lot of what we’ve been doing recently is trying to figure out how all these interdependencies and little spider webs of puzzles get solved.

Outside of MMIT, what do you enjoy doing?

I live in the Boston area with my family. We like to hike and get outdoors and listen to the wind rustling through the trees and that type of thing.

By Lisa Gillespie

 

Ryan Schuler

March 22, 2021

Ryan Schuler is a vice president of sales and business development at MMIT. With a background in specialty pharmacy and data analytics, he runs go-to-market (GTM) sales for MMIT’s specialty pharmacy, hubs and health care IT partnerships. His main goals are to continue developing MMIT’s offerings and make them more actionable for his GTM verticals.

Who are your primary clients at MMIT?

We work with specialty pharmacy organizations, hub services, and health care IT partners.

Ryan Schuler is a vice president of sales and business development at MMIT. With a background in specialty pharmacy and data analytics, he runs go-to-market (GTM) sales for MMIT’s specialty pharmacy, hubs and health care IT partnerships. His main goals are to continue developing MMIT’s offerings and make them more actionable for his GTM verticals.

Who are your primary clients at MMIT?

We work with specialty pharmacy organizations, hub services, and health care IT partners. We look to develop partnerships with each of these groups to allow them to make their sales, operations and software goals more attainable for themselves as well as their patients and customers.

How do such large data sets open up access for clients?

When a patient gets prescribed, let’s say, an oncology medication because they have cancer, it either goes to a hub first, or it goes directly to a specialty pharmacy. And [the prescriber] immediately needs to do a benefit verification. They would normally have to call the payer, look for benefit information online and figure out if the product needs prior authorization. If it does, then they need to know those requirements. As an organization, we’ve traditionally looked at a high-level view, and now we’re making this data something that’s going to move a patient’s journey a lot more quickly. Our software also allows our health care IT partners to enhance their offerings by leveraging our payer, financial assistance and coverage data.

And where do health care IT clients come in?

Health care in general is a fragmented and antiquated space, and everybody’s trying to be more cost conscious and patient centric, which involves knowing what’s on formulary and what’s not on formulary. [IT clients] use our data in combination with their own software. We aim to find partners that would leverage our various offerings to improve their offerings. As more and more organizations look to get a fuller view of the patient journey, we aim to help bring the access understanding to that journey and show how it can be made actionable.

What are some trends you’re seeing in the industry now?

There is a big emphasis on the usage of data and analytics to help move innovation forward. Other industries are saturated with usage of data, AI and machine learning, whereas health care is really just starting to see the benefits of these things. With the pandemic keeping everyone a lot more isolated, there has been a more accelerated shift to adopt technology. The need to keep costs down, enhance patient outcomes and experience, and reduce the fragmented nature of the health care continuum is at an all-time high. All areas of the industry are looking to upgrade in these areas.

Which departments do you work with in MMIT the most?

I work with our marketing team, building a lot of the go-to-market stuff for each of these verticals. I work with the product team because there’s additional data sources that we need to be able to make that patient-level action a reality. We also work with finance to create pricing models and API modeling around how we scale the business for our IT partnerships. We have to work together to engage our customers and speak to the specificity of what we offer.

What’s been one of your biggest successes at the company?

I see success as when we start to make our ideas a reality while also investing in the success of our partners. It’s also closing some of those deals where we hadn’t traditionally looked at that business model. We made MMIT’s policy and restrictions data more actionable for specialty pharmacy and hubs, and we’d never really sold that data into these spaces before.

What do you like about working at MMIT?

There’s an ability to think differently about the business and have an environment that gives me the support, the buy-in and the autonomy to figure all of this out. That’s been the big draw to MMIT. We have great leadership that can see the vision we are trying to create as we continue to broaden our reach in the access space. Making all of this a reality has been very exciting.

What does MMIT do in your own words?

MMIT allows the health care continuum to understand market access in a comprehensive and streamlined way to ultimately advance care in a positive direction.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Pre-pandemic I used to travel a lot and I’m looking forward to picking that up again when all of this settles down. I am a big foodie, and living in NYC allows for plenty of opportunities to try all different foods. I also try and stay active doing a lot of outdoor and team sport related activities.

by Lisa Gillespie

Laura deSouza

February 22, 2021

Laura deSouza is a product owner at MMIT. She’s part of a growing team that manages MMIT’s data systems — the searchable tools that grant clients access to payer formularies and drug prior authorization requirements — among other datasets. She helps prioritize products based on client needs, ensuring our product teams are using their highly specialized skillsets to maximize efficiency and value.

What does your day usually look like?

My day-to-day involves a lot of fielding support tickets that come through,

Laura deSouza is a product owner at MMIT. She’s part of a growing team that manages MMIT’s data systems — the searchable tools that grant clients access to payer formularies and drug prior authorization requirements — among other datasets. She helps prioritize products based on client needs, ensuring our product teams are using their highly specialized skillsets to maximize efficiency and value.

What does your day usually look like?

My day-to-day involves a lot of fielding support tickets that come through, planning improvements with the tech team and taking requirements from the client support teams and data operations. It’s a fun balance of helping put out fires and planning solutions.

What kind of products do you manage?

Recently I took ownership of the API — or an application programming interface — which is basically a way to stream data. There are a lot of ways that we deliver data. In data services, we’re thinking about how we take in the data — like web scraping, or people entering data into an application — and then all the calculations to mush that data together and come up with a coherent picture. And then finally, there’s how we deliver the data. Our API fuels our coverage search application, a free app that you can get on your iPad if you need to search for formulary data on any product or plan. When you’re looking at that data, it’s coming from the API. We have clients who use our API directly to fuel their websites.

Who do you work with the most at MMIT?

I work closely with the product owners of our different applications, because these other applications rely upon our data. If you’re building something in a different application that doesn’t align with what our data can handle, then you’re in a trouble spot. I actually work most often with the tech team, which executes and helps design our data solutions.

How did you get into this field?

In my previous life, I was in neurobiology in academia. It made me very comfortable with large datasets and coding. And when you’re in science, a lot of what you’re trying to do is take large amounts of data and produce a story that makes sense to people. If you have a conversation with a scientist who knows your specific field, you’re going to talk with a certain level of detail vs. a scientist who isn’t within that specialty. You have to be flexible and have those different levels of conversation available, which I think applies to products, too. You have to talk to the client teams about what matters for the client, to operations about what matters to them, and do trainings on how to use the product.

What’s been your biggest success at your job so far?

One of my biggest accomplishments was working on the Medicaid initiative, where we implemented a new set of business rules. This is probably the first time new rules were developed at the company since about 2016, and it was more complicated than anything else we had done in the past. Now what we’re finding is that those business rules have really improved our data, and we’re hoping to enable them across the board.

Medicaid has a whole series of regulations that dictate how payers have to cover drugs, via national level mandates and state level mandates. We figured out how to program them in, and made sure that as mandates change, we can keep up with the changes. It actually took a panel of people to do the work that the rule does automatically in the background.

What exactly is a business rule?

We have something like 2,000 formularies and 150,000 products in a database. For each product, we try to capture how each one is covered on each formulary, and we have a bunch of teams working really hard to capture as much published data as possible. Payers don’t publish everything, so we have to fill in the gaps. If a drug is not actually listed on a payer’s website, we have to figure out how it is covered. Business rules are meant to answer that exact question — to fill in the gaps that payers leave on their websites or in the data that they send to us.

What does MMIT do, in your own words?

We bring together different sources of health care data to try to give actionable pictures of the state of things so that our clients — whether they are pharma, payers or specialty pharmacies — take actions that will help them serve their own clients better.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Gosh, it’s pretty much all day baby. [deSouza had her first child in 2020]. I also like to bake, and I like to sew!

 

Tiffany Moyer

January 25, 2021

Tiffany Moyer is a senior human resources business partner at MMIT. She is responsible for providing strategic HR support for MMIT business decisions. She also works on MMIT’s organizational design, which can encompass role structure, compensation structure and generalist human resource functions such as payroll.

What does your day to day look like?

Since we’re currently virtual, I talk to a different employee every day to check in to help build that relationship since we’re often working on different projects,

Tiffany Moyer is a senior human resources business partner at MMIT. She is responsible for providing strategic HR support for MMIT business decisions. She also works on MMIT’s organizational design, which can encompass role structure, compensation structure and generalist human resource functions such as payroll.

What does your day to day look like?

Since we’re currently virtual, I talk to a different employee every day to check in to help build that relationship since we’re often working on different projects, such as updating the employee handbook or supporting an employee through an FMLA leave. I would say 50% of my day is talking to people external to HR, and the other 50% of my day is collaborating with HR and putting together administrative processes or documents.

What sets MMIT’s employees apart?

Everyone’s really knowledgeable in their field, and it’s amazing to see people operate at that level. I think the biggest thing for me is that MMIT still retains some of the aspects of a small company, but has grown into a mid-size company. And people, especially in this virtual environment, have done an amazing job at maintaining that closeness, which I’ve been really impressed by.

What are some of the new processes in HR that you’re putting in place?

A lot of what we’re looking at for 2021 is about employee growth and retention. For example, I’ve heard from employees that they don’t really know what’s next in their career path. We’re now working on tools and resources around that. So okay, this is what the job does, but what are the skillsets required? Where do you fall in that skill level? And how can you grow and develop those skills?

That already happens in the company to some extent, but it could be so much more impactful if people knew more about what everyone does. This way you don’t necessarily have to know someone to know what they do. We will have more visibility around all roles in the company.

It sounds like this tool will also help employees who want to move up in their own departments.

Definitely. We’re using a tool for skilled management called Visual Workforce. We’ll be piloting that in a few areas this year. Let’s say we’re talking about developers —you’ll be able to look at the developer career path, and the skillsets and requirements needed for a senior developer. Maybe there’s certain coding languages you’ll need to know, and the employee can go in and assess where they fall. And then they’ll know what areas they can continue to grow toward.

And why is having this information for employees important?

The biggest thing for us is really the people. The ability to grow sales, the ability to retain clients, the ability to perform quality work, and the ability to deliver great data only happens because of our people. If you have people doing well at these things, we don’t want to lose them. We really want to make sure we are investing in them and giving them more opportunities to take their talent and knowledge into other areas and continue to drive sales and retain our clients.

Are there any other initiatives you’d like to mention?

We are working to bring in a training center called MMIT University — it’s not just an HR initiative. We’re trying to give fundamental knowledge to new employees on what market access is, what our industry is and what we do, and also how employees can talk about our products with different clients. Learning and development is really a big thing to me when it comes to how you support employees.

How do you think these processes improve MMIT overall?

I think it helps take away the questions. A lot of what we do provides structure — this is how performance reviews are done, this is what employee roles are, these are the expectations, this is who I go to if I have a referral for recruiting — it allows employees to focus on the task at hand when they don’t have to worry about these other things.

Where do you see MMIT one year from now?

Part of the growth this year was to put more structure and foundation around how we do things and take things from a small company to a mid-sized company and have that infrastructure in place as we grow. The plan for 2021 is to continue to grow as a company, including organically by driving more sales, and then preparing for any other types of inorganic growth, like acquisitions.

What are some of the biggest challenges of your role?

Some of the things we do are still very manual from an HR perspective. So it takes more time to double check yourself, to make sure that you have the right information, especially if we have new hires. The day we have new hires is probably the most time-consuming day of the week for me, because I want to meet them, go through HR orientation and spend that time with them. But then I also have to hire them in our system. And since that is a step-by-step process, and you’re handling people’s information, I take it very seriously and try to make sure I’m completely accurate, so that takes a lot of time.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I go for runs at lunch and listen to an audiobook, and that takes me away for a minute and gives me a nice little break. And then when I’m done, I feel really energized by the endorphins.

By Lisa Gillespie