Spotlight on MMIT Team

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.

Suzi Singh

October 11, 2019

Suzi Singh is a panel coordinator at Zitter Insights, a unit of MMIT. Singh began her journey with Zitter as a temporary employee, and was hired in December 2018 before she finished a degree in international business at San Francisco State University. As a panel coordinator, she manages all communications with Zitter’s proprietary panels, which are made up of medical directors, pharmacy directors and health care executives. Her team recruits panelists for Zitter’s qualitative and quantitative studies in addition to handling logistical planning for advisory board meetings and Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Perspective meetings.

Suzi Singh is a panel coordinator at Zitter Insights, a unit of MMIT. Singh began her journey with Zitter as a temporary employee, and was hired in December 2018 before she finished a degree in international business at San Francisco State University. As a panel coordinator, she manages all communications with Zitter’s proprietary panels, which are made up of medical directors, pharmacy directors and health care executives. Her team recruits panelists for Zitter’s qualitative and quantitative studies in addition to handling logistical planning for advisory board meetings and Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Perspective meetings.

Q: What’s your day to day like?

A: Every day is different depending on the projects I’m working on. When it’s hectic, I have to divide my time between multiple projects, while some days are a bit calmer. I use these calmer days to catch up on updating panelist information into our database or revising our standard operating procedures, as they are always changing! Right now, it’s more hectic because we have the oncology and biologics and patient satisfaction surveys going on simultaneously. I check where the surveys are at the current moment, and ensure we are hitting our target lives goals.

Q: Can you walk us through some of the Zitter solutions you are involved with?

A: Being part of the panel team allows me to be a part of many of the solutions Zitter provides. We aid with projects that involve many different therapeutic areas in addition to requesting policy and drug coverage data and genetic testing information. We also host quarterly P&T Perspective meetings, which give clients insights into how a P&T committee may review their drug.

Q: What’s exciting about Zitter’s new relationship with MMIT?

A: This new relationship has been extremely exciting for our team. Now backed with MMIT’s technology, we have been able to increase the size of our panel through our marketing recruitment. Currently, we’re working on creating a training video for our panelists that will be secure and password protected. This will help us move away from the current one-hour training session that we have had to schedule between our analysts and panelists.

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

A: This summer I completed a qualitative research study on multiple myeloma. The project was challenging because it was our first time conducting a 75-minute interview. Normally, we interview 20 people for 60 minutes, but our client requested we expand the interview to 25 people over 75 minutes. This extra 15 minutes posed a challenge because we’re interviewing pharmacy directors and medical directors who are busy and do not always have an extra 15 minutes to answer our questions.

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

A: Since I work with teams across different product lines, I have to manage competing priorities. I’ll receive a request from the managed care team asking me to send a message, which I then have to balance with requests from other product lines. All the teams want their requests completed first, so managing those expectations and figuring out which request is a higher priority can be difficult.

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

I love that I never know how my day will unfold. Every day is different because we never know when a client will request a new project. I also assist with the Rapid Response requests, which is a survey our clients contract for that must be completed in 48 hours, and we have to close it very quickly. Things can happen unexpectedly, but it creates an exciting and fun work environment that constantly keeps me on my toes.

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

A: I love being on the beach, so my boyfriend and I take trips to different beach towns whenever we can. It’s great to have so many beaches nearby because the water in San Francisco can be cold. I haven’t seen much of Los Angeles beaches, but Ocean Beach in San Francisco on a hot day is my absolute favorite!

by Amanda Tadrzynski

Leslie Small

August 26, 2019

Leslie Small is a senior reporter at AIS Health, writing about the payer industry in Health Plan Weekly, and the intersection of payers and pharma in RADAR on Drug Benefits, analyzing the most important topics impacting the market and talking with stakeholders about how current industry trends affect their future strategies. Small has been writing about the health care industry since 2015, joining AIS in 2018 from FierceHealthcare.

Q: Since AIS’s publications come out on a weekly schedule,

Leslie Small is a senior reporter at AIS Health, writing about the payer industry in Health Plan Weekly, and the intersection of payers and pharma in RADAR on Drug Benefits, analyzing the most important topics impacting the market and talking with stakeholders about how current industry trends affect their future strategies. Small has been writing about the health care industry since 2015, joining AIS in 2018 from FierceHealthcare.

Q: Since AIS’s publications come out on a weekly schedule, can you walk us through a week in your life?

A: I write anywhere from two to four articles every week for Health Plan Weekly and RADAR on Drug Benefits. Monday is kind of a ‘get your ducks in a row’ day. I’ll figure out what I’m covering, set up interviews and start writing down what questions I want to ask. The week really varies a lot depending on whether I have one or two publications coming up, and when interviews get scheduled. Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll often do a lot of interviews, and Wednesday and Thursday I’ll do the bulk of my writing. Once Health Plan Weekly goes out on Friday afternoon, I like to think I’m once again on deadline for next week.

Q: What are some of the more challenging aspects of your job?

A: Every journalist has to be willing to be very flexible. You have to have a plan, but you also have to be willing to scrap that plan, because we do want to be able to cover what the industry is talking about within a reasonable amount of time. You have to work with what you’ve got. The hardest part is probably making sure you have a source who can talk about what you’re covering, because our journalism is so interview heavy. I might want to write about something, but if I can’t get anyone to comment on it, it’s not something I can write about at length.

Q: How has your understanding of the health care landscape changed since working at AIS?

A: I understand a lot more about drug pricing now, and in learning about our data, I understand all of the business lines of the industry in a more in-depth way. My coworkers here are people with decades of experience, so I’ve learned more about aspects of the industry that I hadn’t covered before, things like Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans for dual eligibles (D-SNPs) and administrative services only (ASO) contracting.

Every time I do a story I learn a little bit more about the industry — everything changes so fast in health care, so having the knowledge base that AIS Health has really covers you if you feel like you don’t know as much as you should.

Q: What are some of your favorite topics to write about?

A: I’ve always enjoyed writing about the Affordable Care Act exchanges, as they’re always interesting and the ACA has faced so many challenges. I particularly enjoy writing about court cases and legal issues. I also love writing about mergers and acquisitions because everyone wants to read about them. It’s always interesting to see a lot of the drug pricing stuff that’s going on right now because the ideas coming from the Trump administration aren’t necessarily traditional Republican ideas. There’s a lot more willingness right now to take on the industry, and it’s really interesting to see that play out in real time. The best stories are the ones where you feel like you’ve learned something, because you can translate that into words, and you can take your readers along on that journey too.

Q: What challenges or shifts in the industry should MMIT clients be looking out for?

A: Everything is more integrated now — what do you even call CVS Health as a company now — is it a payer, is it a PBM, is it a retail pharmacy? Yes! There are so few, to borrow an industry term, ‘pure-play PBMs’ anymore, and the ones that do exist I think are kind of freaking out because they’re being pushed out by these 800-pound gorillas — CVS, Express Scripts, UnitedHealth. But as one source has pointed out to me, those big integrated entities, especially ones that have resulted from acquisitions, also need to prove to investors and the American public that they’re offering more than just scale — that they could really drive some innovation.

The focus on seniors is another big thing to watch. Medicare Advantage is such a huge money maker, and we’re talking about all of these changes like Medicare for All. I think a lot of the industry discounts that proposal, and no, I don’t think we’re going to have a single-payer industry in three, five, 10, maybe even 20 years. But I think the push toward it may bring something like a watered-down public option. There’s enough public support for it to bring something into the mix to at least placate people, so I still think that’s worth watching.

Q: If any of our clients are not reading AIS Health publications, why should they be?

A: We offer analyses that really are industry-targeted. There’s a million policy-focused newsletters and subscription services out here, but we are very strongly business focused, so we work to tell you what you need to know, not what consumers need to know, even though sometimes those two do intersect. It’s a good way to get business intelligence, and we do strive to make our graphics and our data journalism tell stories as well. We draw upon our really robust data to inform our journalism — we’re certainly not the only ones doing it, but we have this vast trove of health care data that we collect, so that differentiates us quite a bit.

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

A: I like seeing the publication come out and thinking, ‘that was a really good issue.’ I love reading the stuff that my colleagues write and learning from them. I learn something new most days, and that keeps my job interesting. At a lot of jobs, you reach a certain plateau of knowledge, but this is more intellectually rewarding.

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

A: I have a 4-month-old, so I spend a lot of time with her! We like to go on walks around our neighborhood, and there’s a bike trail really close by. On rare occasions now, I like to go out to eat with my husband and see friends, go to happy hour with my coworkers, and I travel when I can. I probably won’t for a little while, until I can take the baby along.

by Carina Belles