An Interview with Sandy Piscitello
Photo by provided by the City of Blue Ash
Triplefin is a patient services company. We help pharmaceutical manufacturers provide services to patients and their physicians to make it easier to gain access to medicines: affordability, insurance, navigation and adherence.
When we provide the services, we don’t come forward as Triplefin; we come forward as the pharmaceutical manufacturer. We may not be highly known in the industry by the patients and by the physicians, but are well known by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Triplefin is actually a translucent fish that you can see through so the idea is that you can see through us directly to you, the pharmaceutical manufacturer and your brand.
LEAD: Tell me about your technology project.
Sandy Piscitello: This has been an expansion to our technology suite of the services we provide. It is an electronic benefit verification tool. This is disruptive technology in the industry. Previously, to verify the benefits was a lengthy phone process. Our product team and our IT team have worked together to develop an electronic tool that now does this automatically.
LEAD: How has the project enhanced the lives of your customers and/or employees?
Sandy Piscitello: It is now almost instantaneous through a web portal where the physician can determine the eligibility of the patient and then treat them the same day, versus a 24- to 48-hour delay.
LEAD: What was your biggest challenge?
Sandy Piscitello: In the healthcare space, there are many puzzle pieces. The biggest challenge was pulling together all of the pieces into a solution that works with a two- to three-second response time.
LEAD: What was your biggest victory?
Sandy Piscitello: Providing this to the industry and lowering healthcare costs. The manual process was an expensive process. To do this electronically significantly lowers healthcare costs while speeding access to therapy for patients. It is a win-win.
LEAD: Did anyone on your team experience personal growth along the way?
Sandy Piscitello: Myra Reinhardt, the vice president of product strategy, has had many excellent ideas in the years that I have known her. Putting her front and center at Triplefin has allowed her the opportunity to take these ideas to market and really change the industry. A barrier in the past has been that if a company makes most of its revenue on manual processes, they are not incentivized to mechanize that. You can have good technology ideas and never see them implemented. At Triplefin, it is what we embrace and how we go to market. Myra has experienced the growth of seeing her ideas come to life.
LEAD: What life lessons came out of this project?
Sandy Piscitello: If you dream it, you can build it. If you are going to be innovative and have funds for research and development, and advancing innovation, you have to go ahead and take chances. Some are going to pay off and some aren’t. That is part of the process.
LEAD: What do you hope happens at your organization in the next five years?
Sandy Piscitello: I would like to see Triplefin become the industry leader in patient services in the marketplace. It is a worthwhile and realistic dream for us. We are going to accomplish it.
LEAD: What has been most surprising result from this project?
Sandy Piscitello: Initially, we thought medium-sized pharmaceutical companies would be most interested, but we have actually had more traction from the very large pharmaceutical companies. In hindsight, it makes sense because they are spending millions of dollars on these services. Naturally, they would be interested in ways to lower costs.
LEAD: What carry-out food did your team enjoy most during the project?
Sandy Piscitello: I’m going to buy stock in Jimmy John’s. As busy as the team was, they enjoyed the delivery service of Jimmy John’s, plus they are across the street from the office.
LEAD: What science fiction movie best describes your company?
Sandy Piscitello: It would be “Star Wars” because of the big Death Star of the large competitors and little Triplefin, with the Force with us, having to fight against all of that.
LEAD: What cartoon character best represents you or your team?
Sandy Piscitello: I would go with Spider-Man because Peter Parker was your friendly neighborhood gentleman that fit into the fabric of the community, while at the same time has super powers that helped benefit the community in which he lived.
LEAD: How does reimbursement work?
Sandy Piscitello: A patient has rheumatoid arthritis and needs a monthly infusion from their physician. The doctor has to buy that drug, administer it and then file for reimbursement from the insurance company. (Those costs) are out-of-pocket until reimbursement. If there are any complications with your healthcare benefits, they may not get reimbursed. The pharmaceutical manufacturers have found that if we can provide free services to those physicians, i.e. handle the prior authorization, process the claim, verify the benefits and expedite the reimbursement, there is more willingness on the part of the physician to prescribe that drug. That is where services have entered into being so important in the marketplace. The benefit to patients is that it is quicker access to the drug.
For more information, call 513.794.9870 or visit triplefin.com.