Miriam Paramore, President, OptimizeRx Corp.
How did you become an executive in the health care industry? Did you always have an interest in health care?
My first job out of college was as a software engineer (we were called “programmers” back then) for HCA Healthcare, so that kicked off my initial interest. Over time, I became very passionate about the power of information to improve our healthcare system and to help people stay healthy. Information and data are incredibly transformative and understanding its value has shaped my perspective immensely. I’ve worked my way up across every facet of the industry, and eventually came to running healthcare technology companies. Now I run a company called OptimizeRx while investing in other health tech start-ups too.
What is one major challenge you see facing the health care industry today?
Siloed information leads to lack of insight which leads to the lack of timely decisions. This negatively impacts health outcomes and also drives up cost. We need to move away from our fear- and risk-based thinking and better understand how sharing this data can improve overall care coordination for the better.
As a WBL member from the life sciences industry, what life sciences trend or technology are you most excited about?
The $7 billion that is available every year from pharma manufacturers to help patients afford their medicines. I’ve been in the healthcare industry for over 30 years and did not know of the magnitude of this opportunity until about 2 years ago. It’s an untapped resource that can change people’s lives.
What does true leadership mean to you?
Leadership is about connecting people and their unique passions with the objective of a company or cause. When you take the time to understand where a person is coming from – as an individual, as a human – then you can understand what gives them energy and allows them to thrive. When you connect the energy of a person – then teams of people – then companies of people – then nations of people – to any cause or ambition, you can change the world.
Name one recent accomplishment you are proud of.
This is not very recent, but the business accomplishment that I am most proud of was my conception and architecture of the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index (now called the “CAQH Index Report”), a report that shows what the healthcare index can save by doing business electronically instead of on paper. Back in 2009, we developed this report that showed how the U.S. healthcare system could save $11 billion EVERY YEAR by simply paying healthcare providers electronically instead of mailing paper checks. I took this information to Capitol Hill and was successful in getting a paragraph into the Affordable Care Act that requires EFT from insurance payers to healthcare providers. It is a small thing, with big savings. And it shows that in our democracy, one person can take one idea to Washington, and actually get something passed into law. Very inspiring for me. I’m grateful for our democracy.
Personally, I am most proud of raising sons who don’t hate me now that they’re grown!
Personally or professionally, what might the WBL network be surprised to know about you?
I drive an electric car and am passionate about protecting the beauty of our natural world.
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