BUFFALO, N.Y. – October 23, 2020 – Providing our clients and their members the best possible service takes teamwork and cross-department collaboration.
Many times, PBD’s success depends on the associates behind the scenes — the men and women who may not attract a lot of attention but are working tirelessly toward the greater goal.
In honor of the recently held National Pharmacy Technician Day (October 20), we wanted to celebrate and thank our associates with pharmacy technician experience.
Our pharmacy service technicians (PSTs) perform vital duties in support of PBD’s mission by providing front-line customer support for a diverse portfolio of clients.
PSTs are on the Member Services team, but the Pharmacy Help Desk and Prior Authorization team all work in technician-type capacities. In addition, members of the Systems team started as pharmacy technicians as well and they use their experience in their work every day.
“All of our associates do tremendous work,” said Patrick Comerford, Director of Customer Service and Engagement. “Our pharmacy service technicians, whether they are using their skills in system build and management or working in direct contact with our clients, membership and providers, are essential to the success of PBD.”
Lindsay Bogacz, Manager of Provider & Member Services, said her team includes several people with pharmacy technician experience who all play a key role.
“The customer service team is the first interaction our members have personally with the PBD,” Lindsay said. “Our job and goal is to provide first call resolution to our members in addition to providing an exceptional member experience. The PSTs are important because they are the most diverse in the member’s plan benefits. They are working toward member satisfaction and resolutions for the members.”
Dana Ranallo, Clinical Pharmacist, said technicians are basically the right-hand men and women to a pharmacist.
“At PBD, we celebrate employees with pharmacy technician experience. Having experience as a pharmacy technician helps improve care for our members both directly and indirectly, as technicians often have a wide knowledge of medication usage, pharmacy billing and patient care.”
Here is a small sampling of our associates behind the scenes with pharmacy technician experience:
Janine Osswald, Pharmacy Help Desk-Specialist, has a pre-pharmacy degree from Niagara County Community College. She has been at PBD for over 16 months after working 22 years at Independent Health.
Her duties include responding, researching and resolving escalated issues that require intervention whether it be from the helpdesk, member services, providers services, or any IH/PBD department that needs assistance. Janine also serves as a coach and mentor to many on staff
“I enjoy helping others, working with several different types of personalities is a very unique experience,” Janine said. “It is very fulfilling knowing that you help someone and that they are grateful that you have achieved great results. I definitely gain knowledge from all the different departments in our company which also leads to creating great working relationships.”
Kerrin Rosenbeck, a Pharmacy Help Desk Representative who has been at PBD for nearly a year, was a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid for several years.
Kerrin’s duties include providing customer service to pharmacies in a timely manner, giving correct information to pharmacies and inputting overrides when needed.
“My job is fulfilling because I believe I am really assisting people during this pandemic,” Kerrin said. “I feel like my scores are improving and I feel like I am becoming a vital employee of PBD.”
Nick Browning, a Member Services Specialist - EGWP, has been with Independent Health and PBD for nearly eight years. He is a nationally certified pharmacy technician who started at Rite Aid in 1999 and worked at the store on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda full time and part time until 2019.
As a specialist in the servicing department at PBD, Nick is responsible for running daily reports, helping take calls and field questions from the PSTs. In true PBD teamwork fashion, Nick has been helping the Prior Authorization (PA) department logging in and logging out PA requests during October.
“I like that I have a knowledge of processes of the servicing, HD and PA team and I can help with whatever needs to get done,” Nick said. “I feel its fulfilling to see the stats reflect what hard work all three teams are putting in and achieving the goals that are set for our high standard of excellence. It’s also nice to work with a team that is dedicated to going after the same set of goals that you are.”
For Greysha DeJesus, a Pharmacy Service Technician with PBD for the past six months, making sure members understand the information they receive is her top priority.
“I love the teamwork at PBD,” said Greysha, who was a pharmacy technician at Children’s Home Care Pharmacy for three years before joining PBD. “If I have a question, everyone is willing to help with no problem.”
James Janik, a Pharmacy Systems Coordinator for over a year now, said his pharmacy technician experience at Rite Aid for three years gives him a better understanding of the “pharmacy world,” such as what MDDs are, what quantities drugs are dispensed in, what a PA is, and what kinds of other edits can be placed on a drug.
James’ main responsibilities at PBD are formulary updates for drug changes for Medicare. But he also does secondary plan testing and eligibility files. With many experienced associates at hand, James likes the fact he can turn to his coworkers for additional knowledge.
“We work in a very nuanced industry and it is almost impossible to come into a PBM with all of the necessary knowledge about our business model and tasks that you are responsible for,” James said. “I am still running across drug changes that have specific tasks on them that I have never done before. So, having people who are willing to lend a helping hand is super beneficial and important. It is fulfilling because I am always picking up new things and learning.”
Maria Ahmed has been a Pharmacy Service Technician at PBD for two years after working as a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid for 9 years.
Maria helps members with their plan if they’re having issues getting their medication and provides them information about their pharmacy benefits.
“I love working with my team and everyone at PBD,” Maria said. “Everyone is there to help and answer questions which makes it easy to help the members and resolve their issues, making it a little easy for them, which is the most fulfilling part.”