Making Medications Affordable and Ensuring Compliance

Miriam Paramore, President of OptimizeRx

Making Medications Affordable and Ensuring Compliance

Passionate about the transformative power of information and interoperability to make good decisions

Making Medications Affordable and Ensuring Compliance

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Making Medications Affordable and Ensuring Compliance with Miriam Paramore, President of OptimizeRx (transcribed by Sonix)

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes, and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez: And welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the outstanding Miriam Paramore. She is the president of OptimizeRX. Miriam is a seasoned executive with 30 plus years of experience in healthcare and deep expertise in health information technology. As president of OptimizeRX she is an officer of the company and responsible for all day to day operations. She’s a senior advisor at NueCura a Nashville based healthcare angel investment company as well as advisor to several venture and private equity firms. She’s a member of the inaugural class of The Nashville Health Care Fellows program and a member of Deloitte Life Science and Health Care women to watch. So it’s truly a pleasure to have Miriam on the podcast today. Welcome.

Miriam Paramore: Thank you so I’m so excited to be here and congratulations on your success with the podcast. It’s a real privilege. Thank you.

Saul Marquez: Well measuring the success of the podcast really is attributed to awesome guests like yourself and the listeners so appreciate the kudos and I’ll share that with you. So Miriam, did I miss anything in your intro that you want to share with listeners?

Miriam Paramore: Well there’s really my personal mission statement that I’d like to share is I am still passionate after over three decades about the transformative power of information and I started my career at helping us use computers in health care and get things off of paper turning the data and frame data into information and now it’s really about information interoperability and information at the right time to empower good decision. So I just wanted to share that improving the system through the power of information telling what my personal mission statement and then the other thing I would add is my passion around women in leadership and women in healthcare and leadership. In particular I do a fair amount of work with a number of groups. We’re not talking about a little bit more but women in healthcare and women in health care IT or data driven careers. I just have an enormous passion for helping to kind of bring us all forward as we continue to grow in our leadership skills so those are the two things I would add to that bio. Thanks.

Saul Marquez: Love that Miriam and for all you lady leaders listening everything’s fine. There’s a phenomenal opportunity for you to connect with Miriam as this is one of her passions. So by all means let’s definitely open up that loop and we’ll revisit it here during the podcast. It’s been 30 plus years Miriam, why did you decide to get into the healthcare sector to begin with?

Miriam Paramore: You know Saul I wish I had an inspirational or profound start but I don’t. The honest answer is when I got out of college I had a degree in math and computer science and I just needed to get a job. And it turned out that there wasn’t a viable job. And what used to be considered you know data processing or information processing at for health or Hospital Corporation of America HCA just headquartered here National where I live.

Saul Marquez: Yes.

Miriam Paramore: And so I was fortunate to get onto that team and get a better start of my career. Hands on very techie writing code for that hospital system and once I got involved in healthcare I began to as I kind of grew up my career and got into consulting and I still love technology and I’m a techie still. I really love solving business problems with information and helping to improve our system. We’re so siloed as you have pointed out in prior podcasts and in your own tweets and things, were so siloed we don’t share information well we have a bunch of data but we still hoard it. And as I learn more about the health care system and then we all grow up to become consumers of health care I saw that I had some skill that I could help in a small way through this information liquidity data liquidity sort of an approach. So it just became very personal for me as I saw many many people struggle with paying for healthcare access and healthcare policy around healthcare all of those things. It’s just a huge driver because we all as I’ve said many times we’re all just sort of one healthcare event away from bankruptcy in the way that our system is set up. And that adds a lot of jeopardy to people’s lives. So anything that I can do to help make our system better I want to do.

Saul Marquez: Love your passion for it. So math and computer science that there’s this HCA and now you’re you’ve had some great experiences and so with all of those experiences in mind what would you sum up as the hot topic that needs to be on all medical leaders agendas today and how are you guys approaching at OptimizeRX.

Miriam Paramore: That’s a great question. There are a lot of hot topics in our industry that don’t ever seem to really go away and it’s complicated. It’s a complicated industry. The thing that I’ve come to focus on most is really affordability and the problem of medication affordability and medication adherence. I just spent a weekend with my dad, he is 82 and his sister is 77 and both of them take either eleven medications or nine medications and the average for people that are geriatric in that geriatric demographic is nine medications. That’s a lot. And I take…

Saul Marquez: That’s a lot of medication.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah I take two or three and I have a hard time you know sometimes I forget mine or whatever. And I’m super healthy right.

Saul Marquez: Yup.

Miriam Paramore: So when you add that complexity you understand you know what medication adherence is as a problem because it’s just complicated. In addition to it being complicated it becomes an enormous access problem because of affordability and we all know the correlation that the industry research shows us with high cost drugs and drugs are getting more expensive people are have a higher out of pocket burden people have higher deductibles and as I kind of sum it up for me Saul it’s you know you can’t adhere to a medication you can’t afford to buy in the first place.

Saul Marquez: Totally.

Miriam Paramore: So access with respect to affordability and then the quick follow on to that with adherence by supporting patients to help them understand and kind of take those medications in a way that eases that complexity both of those things are hand in glove to me as the hot topic. So to kind of answer your question about what we’re doing there our focus and our mission is to help with that affordability of medication and that adherence to medication challenge. And we do that in two ways. The first thing we do is we mobilize or automate the distribution of copay and other manufacturers sponsored, savings coupons for patients. So did you know Saul that it’s over five billion dollars with a B of those coupons are available every year. Did you know that?

Saul Marquez: I had no idea.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah I didn’t know that two years…

Saul Marquez: That’s a lot of money.

Miriam Paramore: I didn’t know that. And I’ve been in this industry forever.

Saul Marquez: Wow. When did you find out?

Miriam Paramore: Why when I took this job it’s really actually the driver of this job because I thought well have mercy if I can have been on over the dirt and if I can have been in this industry for 34 years and I did not know this imagine I’m an inside baseball person right. I’m a data person. If I didn’t know this and what makes it even worse for our patients is that 90% of those savings dollars go unused. So I would imagine that you had not you know five billion dollars worth of coupons for diapers or gas or Diet Coke or whatever. There is zero way that consumers in our nation would just leave that money lying on the ground Oh without a doubt. Yeah and especially when you’re talking about stuff that now that’s just those are consumer goods. But here we’re talking about life changing life savings quality of life medication people need. And it’s difficult for them to afford. And so what we’ve done is something that’s very simple but it’s also very complicated and we’ve automated the distribution of these coupons electronically in real time. So when you’re at the doc. Yeah. You’re at the doctor and he or she is using VHR you know the software that we all love to hate. Right. So when the doctor is prescribing for you or me the medication in our software kind of behind the scenes is running and it pops up and says hey there’s a coupon available for this medication. So for me and like I suffer from insomnia and then they’ll just pop up when my doctor prescribes it for me.

Saul Marquez: So the coupon alert is seen by the physician?

Miriam Paramore: It is.

Saul Marquez: The prescribed physician? Ah okay cool

Miriam Paramore: And so the way this solution works is that there’s a visual cue so one of our partners has it pop up and it’s literally a green dollar sign. And then the doctor can recognize oh guess what Miriam. There’s a coupon for this insomnia drug. Would you like me to print it out for you that email it to you or text to right.

Saul Marquez: It’s awesome.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. So it’s cool so it mobilizes all those savings and the doctors definitely don’t know what drugs cost. We know that patients want to talk to their doctors more about things that are not specifically health but things like you know social determinants of financial things like that everybody’s uncomfortable. Yes so we know that this is a helpful component in the dialogue. So that’s one of the things that we do. And then there are some other things that we do that are around patient support services that are for patients to use mobile SMS text based programs to help explain and encourage and prompt them to take their medications encouraged them to finish their therapy in a way that’s sort of similar to the way my dad talks to me about hey it’s time to get up and that sort of thing. So we have those two primary buckets of solutions on what we do.

Saul Marquez: Love it And it gets to the to the core of access through affordability and then just the adherence portion of it.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah exactly. So we feel like that teachable moment if you will that when that person is with their doctor they’re talking about healthcare it’s top of mind they’re going to come out of there with a script at any time and you know sit in an office setting at least and certainly discharge most of the time. So go get it filled. Here’s something to help you. We’ve removed the costs for many times the copay offset brings the out-of-pocket costs down to zero. Right. And I mean that’s a real difference maker if you’re talking about a high deductible plan that three thousand on my deductible. Nobody even hits their deductible so it’s at that moment when like I said before mobilizing that information and just making it available, you kind of say well duh we’re not already doing that but we really we’re not.

Saul Marquez: That’s amazing. I didn’t know about this 5 billion number. And it’s interesting that you’ve been able to aggregate these and put an engine behind it and just help with the flagging of a medication to a particular coupon. This would require a particular patient’s physician to be enrolled. What if they’re not? Is there an option for them to partake?

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. So let me clarify that it’s a really good question. So our engine which is a really good way to think about it or we call it a digital communication platform salt because that’s really what it is we’re where. We’re moving information from in between and among health care stakeholders and as are people that make the drugs people that prescribe the drugs and people that take the drugs crime manufacturers providers and patients yes. That platform is back there. And as long as you’re connected to a node on the network platform you don’t have to really opt in if you’re a doctor. So it depends on what the H.R. system you’re on and we have a network of about 50 chars that are connected to our system. If you’re a doctor that uses that H.R. you’re going to automatically get this information because you use that in H.R.. Oh does that make sense.

Miriam Paramore: It’s already built into the H.R.. You don’t need to opt in right.

Saul Marquez: Right. The doctor doesn’t have to do anything to opt in and we make it as easy as we can we make it click list where we can we make it. We are definitely experts at putting it in the workflow. So the doctor doesn’t have to think about it. It’s a push rather than a pull so we push the information out to them at that right time. That’s on the provider side. Now on the patient side you bring up an excellent point because patients with appropriate privacy and security protections from high trust to hip to the new European one is it G.DPR or something.

Saul Marquez: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah GDPR. But we do have careful processes for patients to opt in to those adherence and medication support programs because of course respect their privacy so patients need to opt in the way they learn about those programs for patients port is through their doctor there’s typically you know the doctor say hey you know here’s a support service that will help you just manage your medications and stay on track if you’re interested you cannot do. So that’s how that goes.

Saul Marquez: Got it. Okay. Makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense. Phenomenal work. Never even knew about this and I’m glad that you’re sharing it. Listeners if you didn’t know either this is an opportunity for you to just pause for a second and share with a friend but they’d be texting your friend or sending a tweet or a linkedin message or a mass email to friends that could benefit from this knowledge because if it does nobody any good to keep it siloed. It’s definitely, it doesn’t keep anybody healthy. So by the way I wanted to give you guys the website for Miriam’s company here it’s optimizerx.com. And simple just optimizerx.com and you’ll find more information there but these tidbits of information that you’re hearing are the tidbits that can unlock value for you here in the future. So Miriam thanks for sharing that. This is really good stuff.

Miriam Paramore: Well thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about it. We think it’s incredibly important and it is something that I get to do in my day job where I know I am helping people at a real person by person level. And that’s so rewarding to be able to do that because a lot of times we get a little removed from the people that are experiencing health issues and it feels nice to be able to do something that helps.

Saul Marquez: That’s brilliant. And so give us an example of how you guys have created results by doing things differently?

Miriam Paramore: Sure. I’m going to talk for a little bit about the patient side for a second. So we about two weeks ago maybe three now announced the acquisition of care speak communications and you can…

Saul Marquez: Congratulations.

Miriam Paramore: Thank you. Thank you. We are a publicly traded on NASDAQ. So our OPRX is our symbol. And so all this information is out there on our website and it’s easy to find press releases about this but the reason we acquired care speak is because of their unique program for patient support. There’s no app required. Remember back in the day there was that saying there’s an app for that like there’s just an app for everything right. I don’t know about you but do you feel sort of like the last thing I want to do is download another app on my phone.

Saul Marquez: So many apps.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah that’s how I feel. And so one of the things that Care Speak did brilliantly is they said listen we’re going to empower patients around patient support and medication adherence but we’re not going to do an app we’re gonna use what every human uses that has a cell phone and that’s called text right. We all live by text. We all have our mobile phones with us all the time smartphones. And it’s really super easy to opt in. As we talked about before and we’re opt out of some sort of a text enabled like I have text alerts from my pharmacy. Do you get those Saul.

Saul Marquez: I don’t.

Miriam Paramore: Well you. But you could. So I find it helpful because like I said I have to take a few things and I have one auto refill and it’ll just text me. Go ahead. You know your scripts already come get them.

Saul Marquez: That’s nice.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. Great. So that’s a helpful thing that the pharmacies do. Which is where we make our choice to go pick up medication. Right. So I really thought it was brilliant to come up with a ubiquitous way to communicate with patients in a non-intrusive way without them having to deal with an app and passwords and all that other junk that goes along with another piece of technology. So we purchased that company and one of the things that they’ve done to show these results is a vaccine program for a certain population and there’s some case studies out on their site. I’d be happy to follow up the program with some links to that. You can get to that from me out to my side or the Care Speak Communications website or send me a tweet or like 10 or something and I can send it and there’s some case studies out there with nice data about with a test and control group of patients that were part of this vaccine program and how many more people got their vaccines on time through this support program versus those that did not get the support program. That’s an example. And so those outcomes you know what those outcomes are going to be. There’s another example about colonoscopy where a lot of people have that test done and there’s this prep process that’s you know it’s just it’s not pleasant. If you’ve ever had it or it’s…

Saul Marquez: I’ve heard friends that have done it and it’s just like they’ve got to drink a gallon.

Miriam Paramore: It’s just awful. I’ve had it. I’ve done it’s awful. So bio and life sciences industry has been working on ways to make that better. And what happens a lot is if you don’t follow the prep or finish the prep because it is so frickin miserable then you eat a cheeseburger anyway and they can’t do the test right. So that creates all this loop of you know cancel appointments and you get to reschedule there’s wasted time.

Saul Marquez: Domino effect.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. Yeah. It’s just. Yeah. So there’s another example of we’re just educating the patient on “hey you’re scheduled for this appointment. Here’s the prep. I’m going to walk you through this step by step” with the you know via these text based reminders. And this is we’re going to get through this together kind of an approach. So they’re over long term programs, things that can last six months to a year for various medication regiments. Those things become even more important encouragement, guidance, positivity, those types of text as well as these short programs where it’s just “Hey get your vaccine” for a one time event or here’s how you prepare for a procedure and it’s going to take a couple days but you can do it. So those are sort of three different types of scenarios. And fortunately we have that data to show what a difference it’s made an outcomes for these different types of patient.

Saul Marquez: Yeah. And you know I think that you know I’ve had several guests as well Miriam just kind of allude to the fact that we can keep it simple. I mean we are inundated by emails and and apps to download that you know what text is key especially when it comes down to personal things like medications.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah I think so. I think you know brief is is very very good and make things bite sized consumable and if when you’re forced to communicate concisely then that communication is going to be more and more affected. Right. I don’t know about you but you know when you go to the pharmacy and you get the pills in the flight bag there’s always a big thing of paper folded up and stapled to the outside of it. Yes all of that information is immediately torn off and thrown away.

Saul Marquez: Yeah

Miriam Paramore: No one could possibly read it even if you wanted to read it. The thoughts too small. You know you need something to understand the words. It doesn’t really work. So bad information though it’s so important for the patient. That’s your side effect information that’s sure. Do you need to take this with food information, that’s your interaction information, that’s your black box warning kind of information so that patient education one of the things we do is imagine kind of stretching that out and chunking it up in bite sized text chunks that says “hey if you’re feeling soft this side effect, tell us” right or these types of side effects and so we paste all that out in these programs to where it doesn’t overwhelm. People don’t become just tick with all the text and then they just ignored them. So that’s our goal.

Saul Marquez: Love it. I think it’s very insightful and yeah. Rather than throwing the phone book at us. Give it to us little by little drip it out through a text and then it becomes a resource that you look forward to hearing from.

Miriam Paramore: We have heard that we’ve heard directly from patients especially those again that are taking a drug therapy that may last a year and the majority of people who don’t suffer from chronic illness you get sick get strep throat and take seven days metabolic you never take it. Right. But there are some people that a course of therapy is six months or a year but it isn’t forever.

Saul Marquez: Right.

Miriam Paramore: But you kind of got to get through that. Right. And if you fall off then you’re not going to have a good outcome to the whole point of your podcast outcomes you know. Right. So encouraging through that process of you know for example knowing from the prescription information that the manufacturers prescribe that if you were going to have a side effect of dizziness that probably would happen within the first couple of days or you know if you were going to have a sort of a fatigue of taking the drug, it happens about 90 days in. And so you know you want to hit them with that “hey you can do it” where you know 25% went through this program. So that’s why I say it’s kind of like that Fitbit encouragement thing. “Don’t don’t get weary. You can do it.” So part of it’s encouragement part of it is information and education.

Saul Marquez: Love it. I think it’s so great and it’s a great acquisition. I see the vision behind it. So big kudos to you guys for putting it all together and partnering with this new company that you guys just acquired to fulfill the vision.

Miriam Paramore: Thank you. We feel really lucky to have found Care Speak and to be able to put the two together so it gives us both sides of that direct to provider, digital a platform for communication, and direct to patient digital platform for communication in ways we believe and hope were for both us constituents. Everybody’s busy. Give me something that I can work with. So we we’re very excited to be in the space that we’re in.

Saul Marquez: For sure. It’s very exciting now. Tell us about a time when you had a setback or just that something didn’t work out that now you learned a lesson and now you’re so much better for it.

Miriam Paramore: Well I think one of the things I say when I read that question I thought Oh man I don’t want to say anything that I made a mistake on because you know that I look like I’m not as smart as I think I want to be. But we all make mistakes every day. And there’s really not no such thing as a failure especially in a tech business. But really in any business so that fail faster. So one of the things that I think has been a challenge for us but I wouldn’t call it a mistake it is a challenge. It’s an expectation that the industry will will move faster than it moves. And I can hear you laugh that I answered it. We have these monoliths of technology that are in place whereas when I started we really didn’t have computer technology in healthcare to speak up. Not really personal computers back in the day. Right. Personal computers. We certainly didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have any data standards, or interoperability aspirations. None of that stuff. So now in our place in the industry where we are brokering data or moving data between stakeholders so between manufacturers and farms and providers, providers and pharmacies, providers and patients, manufacturers and patients, everybody all of those parties have their own privacy and security concerns their competitive concerns and their interoperability hurdles shout some shun know shall I say. So it just takes a lot more time than you would hope to work through legal and regulatory and they’re appropriate. It just takes a lot of time.

Saul Marquez: Right.

Miriam Paramore: And then on the other side of it is the technical handoffs which really should not take as much time as they take but that still do. So what we have learned from that is how we can be as plug and play as possible is really where an API company.

Saul Marquez: Yeah.

Miriam Paramore: And so we plug stuff together and then we move information along that platform as if we can be as tech forward and efficient in our communication tech as possible that makes us better. So the only failure is us making assumptions that are not very valid. So never make assumptions anyway but try to find ways that what we can do to help the industry move faster in a plug and play world. That’s our goal.

Saul Marquez: Love that. Now it’s a great example and love your explanation of assumptions. You know I always tell my teams “Hey what are the first three letters of assumption.”

Miriam Paramore: Exactly.

Saul Marquez: If you make it you will be one. And that’s always the pressure test them. So love that Miriam. Tell us about an exciting project that you’re working on today.

Miriam Paramore: Well I would love to talk a little bit about the women’s leadership side. Is that okay?

Saul Marquez: Absolutely.

Miriam Paramore: The Segway.

Saul Marquez: We love to promote women leaders in healthcare. It’s absolutely something that we want to hear and we did promise the listeners at the beginning that we would.

Miriam Paramore: Okay good good.

Saul Marquez: Let’s fulfill on that promise.

Miriam Paramore: Okay. So I’ll give the most recent example and this is just one. But I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and I’m gonna give a couple shout outs Okay. One is women business leaders in health care. WDL Al land Shapiro Snyder about 17 years ago. And it’s an executive networking forum for women leaders with one mission which is to get more women on corporate boards because that’s really where it starts. We have to be in real leadership and kind of in the room where the money is and the decisions are made in order to help kind of filter down those key decisions about hiring and leadership that fall below that level so it’s been wonderful to be part of that group. It’s also been wonderful to be part of the women in health I.T. initiative from Kim’s hands is a huge powerful force in our industry.

Saul Marquez: Yes.

Miriam Paramore: I was fortunate to be part of the kickoff of HIMSS women in health I.T. initiative about three years ago at the annual conference and I’ve worked with that roundtable and kind of getting that off the ground under Carly Smith’s leadership. And so that’s another just powerful resource for the industry and the home side of it is where I have this fabulous exciting story. So in August in Nashville Tennessee there’s a conference called Health Further.

Saul Marquez: Oh yeah.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. And it’s not. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Doesn’t have a particular niche it’s kind of broad across the industry but it’s sort of an innovation focused conference. And so the HIMSS group and the Tennessee chapter of HIMSS along with the Tennessee chapter of HFMA they just Health Care Financial Managers Association for the revenue cycle side effects wanted to put on a panel about women’s leadership and asked me if I would moderate HIMSS throat to do it. So we got together this panel of four women with each different role, had a woman who was an attorney, and we had a woman who was literally this flight scientist genius who discovers drugs and then creates them wanted from hospital and then a woman from the tech community and I was moderating so just very powerful different disciplines all within the health care industry. Very powerful. However that panel had never been done before that type of an event had ever been slotted into health further conference before. So as not very well publicized it wasn’t very well communicated on the website necessarily. Nobody’s fault. It just was kind of the way it all it is when you add a new thing doesn’t quite slot in with maybe some of the other stuff I was saying to the team that put it together I said “hey Oh don’t be disappointed if we don’t good turnout because first time. Yeah it’s kind of hard to find this information on the etc”.

Saul Marquez: Level and expectations.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. Yeah. And so what I’m telling you we had standing room only we were together for nearly two hours. This was for at the end of the day. Not only did they find us but they found this and drag chairs in and drag each other in. And it was absolutely one of the most energizing things that I’ve been part of this year and certainly many years. And what is so fulfilling about it it’s so energizing is people find the conversation that they want and that they need. I think maybe it’s a little bit like that with your podcasts.

Saul Marquez: Yeah I could definitely relate to that for sure.

Miriam Paramore: Yeah. So somehow people find you if you’ve tapped into something and there’s such a desire of course it’s you know this is the year of the woman. Well you know as they say with respect to politics that we just had our midterms we had a lot of women take seats and things. Which is wonderful. We’re in the grip of sort of the Me 2 movement and all that that means you know the pluses and minuses there. We’re still dealing with wage inequity for women in any number of industries and there’s great research published by HIMSS about this and it’s astonishing to me to learn that roughly 20% disparity women 20% less than men in the same role that margin Saul has not changed over the past decade and bad to assume I do assume all the time and I do make an ass of myself right and ask you to believe…

Saul Marquez: We all do.

Miriam Paramore: Because in my head that margin had to be decreasing. Just had to be but it wasn’t right. So then when you look at these things so but all of this is about being positive because this is just something that I can identify with because I happen to be a woman and I love our industry and I know that that gender can and should only be a positive thing. So how do we just even that add a little bit.

Saul Marquez: I think it’s a great call out and you know it’s an opportunity for us to be thinking about this as healthcare leaders and what can we do to help level that gender inequity. I think it’s a great call to action that we all need to take away from this podcast. So Miriam I think it’s great that you that you brought it up because if you don’t if we don’t talk about it nothing’s gonna happen. It’s that you know 10 years from now it’s gonna be the same thing.

Miriam Paramore: Right. And I appreciate you. Let me comment on it because it is one of those things that you know sometimes people really just don’t want to talk about it or they’ll say well that’s that. You know it’s kind of a disparaging “Oh well that’s that you know whatever” affinity conversation but it really isn’t that it’s really about you know women make what is it 85% of all the healthcare decisions. Women comprise essentially 80% of the healthcare workforce yet have very very few of the C Suite roles in healthcare broadly speaking and certainly have 20% less than 20% of all the seats on public boards. So I mean it just it is what it is. Right. So bringing those two things together can only bring more power and more creativity to our industry that we love. I’m really curious about your last question about medical leadership course.

Saul Marquez: Yes. So thanks for that transition. And before we do transition to that again, I just one point everybody toward the site that Miriam mentioned that’s www.wbl.org women leading in health care. The stats don’t lie. And the opportunity is big so for you ladies that decide to step up. Guess what. The opportunities there and the tide is I think is shifting. And you know I think more and more people are talking about it and I think this is the time so step up if you feel like you want to be part of it because the tide is rising.

Miriam Paramore: Let me Saul let me mention one more website as well for resource himss.org. And there’s #womeninhit there’s a bunch of ways to get there but if you look at himss.org you can definitely get to those resources. There’s a whole library of things out there on both those websites.

Saul Marquez: Love that. Thank you Miriam. And before we conclude we’ll also have Miriam share the best place to connect with her. So stay tuned we’re almost there for you to connect with her on this very important topic of women leaders and healthcare. So we’re going to build a leadership course Now Miriam on what it takes to be successful in the business of healthcare it is the one to one of Miriam. And so we’ve got five questions lightning round style followed by your favorite book. You ready?

Miriam Paramore: I’m ready.

Saul Marquez: All right. What’s the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Miriam Paramore: Communication between the stakeholders and in what we’ve talked about is the people who make drugs the people who prescribe drugs and the people who take the drugs. Communicate. Right time right information.

Saul Marquez: What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Miriam Paramore: To assume that good outcomes can just happen within staying within our silos and to just assume anything as we’ve been talking about but definitely that silos work because they don’t. And so we need to break down the silos through these various communication channels and it has to be digital has to be relevant.

Saul Marquez: How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Miriam Paramore: Well you know tech is where it is. And so you’re going to be relevant in tech if you stay if you lean into tech and say savvy and accept things like trends that we’ve talked about like nobody wants another app everybody doesn’t want things to be mobile doctors wanted to be mobile they want all time. No. Sorry. Anytime anywhere access to information off of any device. So we are leaning into tech heavily and then we lean into trends heavily to understand from a data perspective what it is that people need. And it really is as simple as no matter what changes happened in our industry, policy wise or otherwise or what technology changes, people need information in order to get healthy and doctors need help to make information good informed decisions about medications because there’s too many medications they change all the time. No doctor can know everything. So really it comes down to communication.

Saul Marquez: What’s one area of focus that drives everything in your organization?

Miriam Paramore: Patients. Patient’s health and breaking down the barriers to access with a specific focus on affordability and then empowering those patients towards adherence. And the second area on and seek another primary less but the providers that’s what they want everyone is aligned around healthy outcomes. It’s just that again these communication barriers make you know we make it harder than it perhaps should be. As an industry so continuing to break that down for the patient’s benefit. That’s what drives us all.

Saul Marquez: What is your number one success habit?

Miriam Paramore: Ooh my number one success habit. Perseverance just keep working. Just keep working.

Saul Marquez: Keep working keep working through it you’re going to get it done.

Miriam Paramore: You can’t let the fatigue and inertia of solving a big problem make you give up. You just got to keep going. It’s good. It is changing you’re right. Things are changing and it’s getting better.

Saul Marquez: I love that. Miriam what book would you recommend to the listeners?

Miriam Paramore: I think it’s Moneyball Medicine or Medicine Moneyball. I just recently read. It’s a really good one. I don’t have that book in front of me but that’s a great one. And you know one of my favorite book was not a book but it’s a blog. And Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s blog earlier. It’s just so good. I’ve known her for a long long time and she had no idea of saying that. So it’s not that I’m just trying to help her but the thing that she wrote blogged about today one day Denzel Saul was what patients want to talk to their doctor about that isn’t healthcare. They want to talk to them about I’m upset about this it’s hard to manage. This is expensive. How do I do this. I have a problem with transportation you know they want to talk to them about stuff that’s not doesn’t fit in a seven minute diagnostic box. Yes but they don’t have that conversation. And we know that doctors will have the conversation if they have the information. So if they know what a drug costs and they know that there are coupons they want to talk to the patients about that. So we feel like we can help that conversation. But I would absolutely recommend her blog I read it all the time.

Saul Marquez: It’s a great blog and folks we also did an interview with Jane. If you go to the website you’ll be able to find Jane healthcare populi. You just type in healthcarepopuli you’ll find it there and that’s the name of her blog too healthcare populi so check her out and check out the book that Miriam just recommended Moneyball Medicine riding in the new data driven healthcare market. We’ll provide links to all of these on the site just go to outcomesrocket.health/optimizerx you’ll find that there. Miriam leave us with the closing thought the best place for the listeners could get in touch with you.

Miriam Paramore: So you can find me on LinkedIn, Miriam Paramore. You can certainly find me on Twitter same Miriam Paramore. Nothing mysterious there. I would just say that I love being part of this podcast. My closing thoughts would be these sorts of conversations and then translate that into something practical and actionable because we think about Saul what we do isn’t rocket science. You’ve got outcomes rocket which I love at night distributing information is not rocket science right.

Saul Marquez: Agreed.

Miriam Paramore: But it’s a simple thing to do. It’s complicated to have to do it in this industry for the reasons we’ve talked about before but it’s a simple thing to do but it’s profound. Five billion dollars available every year and that amount is growing 90% unused. Let’s just unlock that and help people have access to and afford their medications. And this put them in a way that’s not intrusive to their lives in a way that helps them as they adhere. And then they’ll get better. So I appreciate you having this forum for me to be able to talk a little bit more in depth than you can do in 140 characters or something.

Saul Marquez: For sure Miriam and I appreciate you sharing your your words of wisdom. It’s definitely been a very insightful episode that I’m sure all of the listeners are enjoying and by the way listeners. You could always hit rewind listen to it again because Miriam definitely left us with a lot to think about. So again Miriam want to thank you for joining us and looking forward to staying in touch with you.

Miriam Paramore: Thank you so much Saul it’s been a real pleasure. Really appreciate what you’re doing with this show.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

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