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Mission: We answer the “what” and the “why” of drug coverage, reimbursement and overall market access.
Employee Spotlight Series: This week, the spotlight is on Jayne Hornung, VP, Pharmacy and Medical Programs. Jayne, a a registered pharmacist, has been acting as MMIT's clinical subject matter expert for the past twelve years, conducting research of new indication and policy data. Jayne helps MMIT's client experience team gain expertise on clinical knowledge, creates MMIT's clinical perspectives and helped develop the Policies and Restrictions (PAR) data platform. She also pioneered MMIT's first internship program with pharmacy and PharmD students. Jayne is a key contributor to MMIT's success in market access expertise.
MMIT Spotlight Series: This week, the spotlight is on Pallavi Garg, Client Success Analyst (CSA). CSA's are integral to the day-to-day operation of MMIT's Client Experience team, as they must understand both client needs and how to build custom reports around MMIT #marketaccessdata in order to ensure a seamless experience for clients. Interested in reading more? Check out the full story here: http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vMuQr #employeespotlight #onecompany #clientexperience #datavisualization
We leverage technology, research and industry experts to make sense of how and why specific pharmaceutical drugs are covered. Physicians and pharmacies use our data and applications to understand what drugs are available to patients and how they are covered by health plans. Pharmaceutical manufacturers trust our data to understand how their drug and competitive drugs are covered, which helps forecast performance and tune strategy.
Check out our employee stories at https://www.mmitnetwork.com/life-at-mmit/
Oct 10, 2018
Carolyn Zele is a client success advisor at MMIT. After nearly seven years in senior leadership roles at PBM MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc. — where she worked with MMIT products — Zele joined MMIT as one of the first client success leads, pioneering the position in 2016. Zele described how she joined the company, how she tailors solutions for clients and the most challenging parts of her role.
Q: How did you start using MMIT tools while at MedImpact?
A: It’s funny, because I was looking at [a product offered by an MMIT competitor] first, and I thought, I don’t want to just buy the first thing I see. I was running the formulary team [at MedImpact] at the time, but I wanted some competitive analysis. So I actually went to the MMIT website, filled out the little contact form and sent it in, and [Chief Product Officer] Greg [Haskins] is the one who contacted me, and it took off from there. I worked with [MMIT tools] for four years on getting Formulary Navigator ready for the PBM space, floating in all of our [MedImpact] formularies, and using the tool to publish websites. I really loved the technology and the teams that I met.
When I decided that I didn’t want to be in a senior leadership position anymore, I reached out to Greg and asked if there could be a fit [for me at MMIT]. I started out implementing payers into Formulary Navigator, and I just felt I wanted to move over to the challenge of pharmaceutical companies — who knew what I was getting into?
Q: What’s a common issue for clients?
A: Let’s say a client hires a new sales team, and there’s 15 people who think they know what MMIT is, but they’ve never used it. All the training that I provide is use case driven — so how is the end user that I’m talking to going to use and interact with our tools? That is a really important distinction, because when you do navigational training, you can train everyone [in the company] the same exact way, but they may not understand how to use it at the end of the training. A lot of the time, we’re very focused on who’s using the tool, and we want to set up meetings, trainings and demos for each [type of employee]. Sometimes we only get 15 minutes in another meeting for training. You can’t teach anybody navigation in Analytics 3 in 15 minutes, but you can show them one use case in 15 minutes.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: I love solving problems. When I have clients who have a question or think there’s something they don’t like in the data, I love digging deep and helping them solve the problem. I couldn’t imagine myself in a different job at this point.
Q: What are the challenges of your role?
A: You have to be a Jack of all trades. You have to know a little bit of everything. We are a lean organization so we don’t have a lot of people you can tap, so I have to be somewhat of an expert. There’s a lot of improvisation and a lot of evaluating. You have to try to figure out what level of detail everyone you’re working with has the stomach to understand and accept. It’s about understanding who you’re talking to all the time, and being really careful about making sure that you’re still within the boundaries of the job. It’s easy to become too embedded in the client so that they depend on you too much.
Q: What’s been your biggest victory with the company so far?
A: I would say my biggest victory was Amgen. When I took Amgen, we only had one product with them at the time — one class. Over the next year, we added additional classes; now we’re getting ready to add 13 more. At one point, I found out that they were still using [a competitor’s] lives data, and they were trying to reconcile coverage and lives between the two of us. So we said to them, if we prove to you that our lives are more accurate and line up the way you need them to line up, will you switch to our lives everywhere? And they said yes, so we took on the project, and we were able to prove at the end of the day that our lives were more accurate. They started using MMIT lives across all of their brands for the pharmacy benefit, and that to me was a signature moment for MMIT.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I’m a first time-time grandma. I have two new grandbabies — they’re twins! They’re a month old. My husband and I also travel, hike and collect wine. We won’t do much traveling until the babies are a little older. We want to stay close to home and watch them grow up
Apr 22, 2019
Fiza Bari is a senior market research manager at Zitter Insights, a unit of MMIT, leading the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Perspectives team. With her team, she recreates a real world experience by allowing pharma clients to be a “fly on the wall” during a live P&T review. Bari, who holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular medicine and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, also works on custom market research projects, tapping into Zitter’s robust network of panelists for everything from quick pulse surveys (Zitter’s Payer Rapid Response) to large surveys, which help pharma clients tackle market access challenges.
Q: What’s your day to day like?
A: It’s very dependent on project load. It can be a day where I’m working on multiple projects at the same time, or if I’m not working on multiple projects I’ll be working on proposals, or targeting for potential new sales. It really just depends. Right now, we’re gearing up for a June 1 session on Multiple Sclerosis and NASH (Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis), working with our panel team and getting our committee and specialists recruited. I’m also wrapping up a quantitative payer study that we’re doing for a pharma client.
Q: Can you walk us through some of Zitter’s P&T solutions?
A: When a manufacturer is looking to launch a new product, or if a competitor is launching a product, we recommend clients conduct a P&T Perspectives around six months to a year before the new product launches. What we’re able to do is replicate what happens in the real world at a payer organization, where they meet and review products. We can simulate a health plan, a PBM or an integrated delivery network; it just depends on the situation.
The meeting starts with a clinical pharmacist presenting the disease state overview, and the current products on the simulated plan’s formulary. They will then provide an overview of the products that are being reviewed, including a summary of the clinical trial data. Disease state specialists then provide their opinion on how they would prescribe the product(s) being reviewed. The clinical pharmacist closes the meeting by providing clinical recommendations for the product(s) for formulary review, then a contracting pharmacist presents current utilization of any existing formulary products, and three pricing scenarios, which can include contracting offers if applicable. The committee then votes on each scenario. The manufacturer gets to see how a simulated plan will review its product in a double-blinded manner. This candid feedback can then inform the client’s value proposition and validate pricing assumptions.
Q: What’s exciting about Zitter’s new relationship with MMIT?
A: I think because MMIT has never ventured into custom market research before, we’re really able to provide solutions for those clients whose questions can’t be answered through policy data alone. MMIT was always one of our competitors, especially when it came to policy data. Given the technology expertise that MMIT has, it is going to be exciting to see how we can improve our operational processes, which can help grow the business. Before, we were more of a boutique style market research firm without the advantage of having that technological backbone.
Q: What industry trends should clients be looking out for?
A: I think with managed care, it’s always evolving. One of the bigger trends last year and one thing that we’re tracking is copay accumulator programs. We’re trying to understand the impact of these programs, especially for clients with high-cost specialty products. It’s a big concern for them if their patients can’t afford their medications because of these programs. It has a ripple effect, because it can impact the patient’s adherence. When issues like this come up, it’s not just impacting the manufacturer, it also impacts patients, and it’s important to remember that.
Q: Any buzzworthy indications to watch out for?
A: I think payers are excited about NASH. There are no FDA-approved products in that category, and it affects a lot of people. It’s not a rare disease, and there are four manufacturers coming out with products in the next two years.
It’s going to be really interesting to see how our P&T Perspectives committee reacts to the data and how they review the new products on formulary. We’re not really sure how these products are going to be priced right now, but it will be interesting to watch the committee have that conversation. Just the fact that there’s four products coming out in a category that has no treatments is huge — it’s a lot of competition.
It will also be interesting to see if NASH manufacturers follow the non-specialty pricing trend that we saw in the chronic and episodic migraine category last year. Amgen’s Aimovig came out with non-specialty pricing, so that definitely impressed payers. Historically, specialty products have always come out with high pricing, so they might be setting a trend there where other manufacturers will be under pressure to come out with non-specialty pricing as well.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: It’s the most challenging part — just keeping afloat with my workload on so many different kinds of projects. It’s why I wanted to join the custom research team, and it’s why I’ve been on the team for four years. Because of our unique position and the fact that we’re working on everything, I’m always learning. I get to apply my scientific background to highlight key clinical benefits of new drugs, and merge that with understanding the financial impact new products have on the marketplace.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I have a two-year-old daughter and another one on the way, so I am kept busy! I like to hang out with my daughter and my husband. We’ve had a cold winter, so we’ve been doing a lot indoors. I’m looking forward to summer and getting back outside!
by Carina Belles
June 24, 2019
Edgett Hilimire is a developer at MMIT. He has worked professionally as a developer since he was 15, and joined the company after working on implementing an artificial intelligence (AI) system for an asbestos claims company. He currently works on developing new software that uses artificial intelligence to improve MMIT’s document collection processes.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your role at MMIT.
A: I work on developing software that plays a critical part in our collections process. We use the Elastic Search database, which is a new technology that we use to house all of our documents after we collect them. The Elastic Search database then feeds documents into MMIT Reach for our clients to access and into our internal PAR (policies and restrictions) “hunting tool” that helps us surface new policy and restrictions changes.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?
A: One of the great things about working here is you’re free to use new technology as it pops up and as it is useful. As a team, we are always looking for ways to incorporate new technology to help resolve any business needs. Everyone will branch out into new technology zones and build proof concepts that they share with the group, which anyone can use to resolve any future problems. We’re able to continuously move forward on our usage of new technology because everyone participates in it. It’s all about how we can use new technology to come up with better solutions.
Q: Is there any new technology that clients should keep an eye on?
A: MMIT has been pushing implementing and improving our use of AI. If anyone is interested in using AI, my advice is to start now. It’s a valuable resource if you take the time to fine tune and train it. The biggest part of implementing any AI system is the feedback loop where humans validate the data coming out of the AI and then feed corrections back into the system. Then AI takes the corrections from this feedback loop and will apply it going forward, and in turn it becomes more and more accurate.
The feedback loop is the trickiest part of the AI, because if you’re not feeding back data into the AI, you’re not doing it right. Once the humans have given the computer enough information to do its job, the computer will always be faster.
Q: Can you go into detail about how MMIT uses machine learning and AI in our tools?
A: Right now, we’re focusing our AI on classifying documents. When Elastic Search feeds a new document into the PAR hunting tool, the AI automatically tries to classify the document as a policy, form, etc. We’re working on implementing a screen in the PAR hunting tool where the AI will classify the document, and then the hunting team will have the option to correct the AI if it tags the document incorrectly. The AI will then take those corrections and will apply it on its next round of classifications. The more the PAR team corrects the AI, the more accurate it will become in classifying documents.
We’re also using the AI to automatically check if a document is an updated version of a previous document. The AI will look at the two documents to find differences in wording to determine if the document is an updated version of a previous doc.
Q: What’s been your biggest victory with the company so far?
A: I would say the collections system has been my biggest victory. The AI can go out and collect new documents every day, and store it in the Elastic Search database. Then the documents feed out into our different tools. It was real team effort to get this collections system to work, and it was an immense success.
I’m not ready to call victory on the AI, but I can smell victory. It’s difficult to work with, and has required input from the development team to the PAR hunting team, so again it’s a real team effort. We all have to understand the end goal and be willing to suffer through a lot of difficulties to produce a system that works and works well.
Q: What are some of the challenges of your role?
A: The challenge is the speed at which we move. Sometimes we move too fast and we pump stuff out and there are times when it doesn’t work, but to me this isn’t always a bad thing. We’re able to learn from our mistakes and improve from them. To me, it’s better to fail early then to fail late. Managing the business desire to get things done now and getting things that work properly can be a challenge.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I like to sail, and I like to travel. I’ve traveled to all 50 states except for the northwest region. I’ve also been to Canada, Mexico, Scotland, Guatemala and the Philippines, which I really enjoyed visiting. I might go to Portugal this summer, and I think I’m going to visit California to see some of my friends that live out there.
I have been working at Managed Markets Insight & Technology full-time (Less than a year)
- Most friendly work environment I've been in personally
- Expectations to work hard when needed, but senior positions also remind you when appropriate to relax/keep your health and stress a work life balance
- Lots of room for company to improve, which means rooms for higher positions if you can help with the business needs
- Growth industry and a company that can really take this model in a lot of different directions
- Personally from my end, very supportive bosses that don't mind breaking down the specifics and don't shy from answering questions
- Culture of looking for answers/solutions from the bottom up, instead of delegating everything from the top
- The company has moved so fast that some of the stability/organization/consistency you might expect or be used to isn't quite here yet, ie; jumping from project to project with little notice, limited training/learn as you go, again though this is all a positive if you enjoy the pace and are of the mind to help improve the company
Advice to Management
Some focus on organization of information to teach new and old employees. Outside of one's specific department a lot of people have a hard time understanding the focus of other departments. Monthly class settings on Fridays for an hour or a central source of information would be very useful not just for on-boarding but for encouraging employees to learn more about the business and get closer with their neighbors.
Keep it up though! The way this company was prepared to handle this COVID-19 crisis at the drop of a dime and fight to keep us steadily employed and also productive from home was a huge eye opener. Of all my friends I don't think any of them (that didn't already work from home most days) had this smooth and supportive a transition, most are two weeks into social distancing and hardly have any work set up and some are fearful of their company's standings. Thanks for helping us out in making everyone feel secure in a time like this, it's been a great source of security for me which helps me keep focused.
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Managed Markets Insight & Technology.
First interview was a phone screen which took close to an hour and a half. They were very informative about what the company did and asked mostly standard interview questions. There were some challenging questions as well. I received a call back within a few days to come in for a 2 hour interview.
The first hour i had to do a presentation. They have a projector hookup, if needed, but i went with a more standard approach and provided documentation. I had to present on my most recent large project. I believe this is a great process because you can really showcase your style and approach to how you handle projects. This is a standard for most positions here so they will give you something you are familiar with to discuss. They will then ask several questions during your presentation so build in time to allow for this. The second hour was more standard but still difficult. A lot of scenario type questions and how you handle different circumstances. They also discussed the position and the company. They talked about that there is no formal on-boarding process and you have to be the go get it type of person. So you are warned that it is a fast paced company that is moving at light-speed. Overall it was a good experience and interview. It then took only a couple of days to hear back and then 1-2 weeks to finalize everything.
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