Q: Where did you grow up?
Arlington Heights, IL, which is a northwest suburb of Chicago (Go Cubs!)
Q: Where did you go to college/graduate school?
I received both my bachelor’s and my master’s degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Q: Tell us about your favorites.
Food: Pizza—pretty much any kind! (a Chicago staple)
Movie: “Love Actually”—has a great cast, reveals varied stories examining what is love, and is sprinkled with a bit of British humor
Musicians: Taylor Swift, Alanis Morisette, Kidz Bop (You’ll know it if you have kids)
Destination: Any place with a beach: Maui, San Diego, Outer Banks NC
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
I take Pilates classes, enjoy visiting wineries with my husband and like to just hang out with our kids, ages two and a half and five and a half.
Q: What kind of work does your company do in 340B and what makes it stand out?
SUNRx is a third-party administrator. We offer covered entities a full suite of programs including contract pharmacy, split billing, and an uninsured discount card. We also offer a pharmacy gateway solution to contract pharmacies.
What makes SUNRx stand out is our commitment to a diversity of CE types and sizes. We meet our clients where they are and do not take a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. SUNRx has quite a bit of business within the CAH and FQHC space who are often serving rural areas and really depend on the program to serve their expansive communities. The needs and wants of these entity types may differ quite a bit than say, a large DSH serving an urban area, so we’ve designed our platforms and service model to complement an array of program needs. The SUNRx technology is highly customizable and able to be configured per service area, so this allows our clients to capitalize on the 340B opportunity to deliver the best solution for their entity.
Q: Why did you choose to work in the 340B space?
My first exposure to the 340B world came from my previous employer, a national specialty pharmacy who engages with CEs as a contract pharmacy. As a pharmacy, we held to the sincere belief that the patient experience should be the driver of the entire healthcare equation. This was further strengthened when we first started working with covered entities and I was able to see firsthand how each entity utilizes their 340B savings to further patient care. And now, working at SUNRx, I once again get to see the result of our efforts—supporting every client’s 340B program so that they can provide quality care and support to the patients who need it most.
Q: What do you feel is your most significant contribution to the 340B world or to a 340B customer/client?
“Providing transparency and promoting choice in decision making” is so important that it’s included in our mission statement. Our role isn’t to tell covered entities what to do or run the program for them. It’s to ensure compliance and provide as much transparency as possible, from how the program is operating to what the different moving parts are, and then give clients the freedom to make decisions that optimize their unique program.
An example of this is that SUNRx has made a significant investment in specialty pharmacy and referral capture programs. We’ve built out additional services and a network of specialty pharmacies that allow covered entities to compliantly draw additional savings. Refining our approach and focusing on specialty has allowed our clients to optimize referral capture with specialty drugs. And we all know that even a small amount of savings on specialty medications can have a significant impact.
Q: What advice do you have for a young professional who has recently launched a career in the 340B space?
As the 340B program continues to face a variety of industry pressures and changing dynamics, my best advice for a young professional is to try to understand the perspectives of each of the stakeholders. I know for myself, having been on the pharmacy side, and now on the TPA side, I definitely look at the interactions a bit differently in how the alignment between these organizations needs to occur. 340B is so dependent on the strength of partnership and alignment of the parties in the overall model. For example, you can have an aligned TPA and a compliant program as a CE, but if your pharmacies are not satisfied with the program efforts, the program model may not succeed. Or, say, you have a CE and a pharmacy who are aligned on goals and incentives, but then the TPA cannot operationalize the program mechanics according to contract. We see many examples where too many of the stakeholders are acting in silos, which creates an overall detriment to the program. If you can understand how everyone plays a part and their motivations for doing so, it will only enhance everyone’s success in the program.
For questions, Mary can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.