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Virtual Think IT Event: Prime Therapeutic’s People, Technology & Healthcare Transformation

Yesterday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Event to discuss Prime Therapeutic’s People, Technology & Healthcare Transformation with Jim Graham, CIO at Prime Therapeutics, Lanna Niemeyer, VP of Software Engineering, Quality Engineering, Agile COE, and IT Portfolio at Prime Therapeutics, and Craig Johnson, Cara Getschel, Amy Browne, Cam Kracke, Jim Illetschko and Sam Mohanty from Prime’s IT Leadership Team. Thank you to everyone who joined the event and participated in the discussion!


Below you will find a summary of what was discussed.


An introduction to Prime and their IT Leadership Team

Prime Therapeutics was founded in 1998 and has grown to be the 6th largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, serving more than 32 million members. Their purpose is to help people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well. As a pharmacy, one of their goals is to achieve more affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone. Their mission is to unlock the potential of integrating drug management to enable the right care for each person with the right medicine, at the right time and at the right place. Prime has recently combined their fully transparent and channel independent model with Magellan Rx’s medical specialty product portfolio, thus enabling the ability to create a new, specialty engagement model. This recent acquisition will advance their strategy and accelerate their approach to specializing their healthcare services.


Why did Prime start their Digital Transformation?

There were several factors Prime faced that led to this transformation. They were using outdated technology, manual and complex processes that could have been automated, and incomplete data sources which in turn came with long turnaround times. The challenges with their operations created a “fractured experience” for both their clients and members which led them to begin a digital transformation journey. Alongside digital transformation, they are also transforming the way they work. They are partnering more closely with their business and finding the best solutions that meet the needs of Prime, their clients, and their members.  The current state of their IT transformation is a combination of the past and future state of the technology they use every day.


Prime’s IT Foundation

To achieve their mission and vision, a solid foundation must be in place to ensure their success. The IT strategy is to transform from being a utility to a strategic business partner. They want to change the mindset of those at their cost center and drive the importance and value IT brings to the overall strategy at Prime. They are working to optimize, modernize and innovate over their key business value streams across prime. The IT team is moving from a project-centric model to a product-centric model and leveraging agile over waterfall while embracing a remote work environment. The market is demanding constant consumerization of the healthcare industry, which has really fueled their IT transformation. A few of the modernizations include ensuring their applications are platform ready, dividing their monolithic solutions into smaller, service-oriented solutions, using the cloud to store data so that it can be accessed off-premises, and using their data as actionable insights.


Prime’s progress and vision for the future

Prime is on a transformation journey to empower their people to embrace speed, flexibility, and value. This has been an important factor in their digital transformation. Some of the key takeaways from their transformation so far are:

  • Named Top Workplaces in 2021
  • 11% Attrition (20-30% industry)
  • 500+ employees trained in Agile
  • Majority of $300M transformation to be completed in 2023
  • Business and IT partnership is stronger than ever


How would you advise teams that are taking on new initiatives for success?

According to Jim Graham, you must start with a business initiative, if you start with a technology initiative, it is likely going to get off track and be hard to pull off. You must have support from the business and collaboration from your IT team. The partnership between the two will aid in completing this initiative successfully. Alongside support from the business, you must know what your goals/mission are, how you will set up your teams and governance, and set up a well-thought-out game plan. It is also important to practice your “story-telling skills”, to ensure the messaging is enticing and accurate.