As the leading association representing pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the United States, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) seeks to influence policy developments that could impact its member companies and the industry at large. Pharmacy benefit managers administer prescription drug plans for over 266 million Americans.
As you might imagine, that touches a lot of policy.
For Melodie Shrader, vice president of state affairs at PCMA who manages a nimble team of lobbyists, FiscalNote serves a dual purpose: helping her team monitor the thousands of bills developing across the U.S. while also providing a valuable management tool to help highlight their efforts.
The [FiscalNote] platform is built to be a fabulous database of everything that relates to your government relations program.Melodie Shrader, Vice President of State Affairs
“The [FiscalNote] platform is built to be a fabulous database of everything that relates to your government relations program,” Shrader says. “I can say ‘1,600 bills were introduced, this percentage of them are high or medium priority, and we did this percentage of advocacy work on those.’ That's when FiscalNote starts to turn into a really solid management tool.”
Exponential Rise of Issues to Identify, Prioritize, and Monitor
Recent shifts across legislatures and the implications of COVID-19 on public health and the healthcare system have led to an increase in legislative activity. Keeping a close eye on upwards of 50 policy issues, there are thousands of potentially impactful bills that PCMA’s state affairs team has to evaluate. FiscalNote acts as their first line of defense for monitoring surging policy developments across the states.
“We constantly get requests on behalf of our member companies or in preparation for a proposed bill asking ‘what are the other bills in this category that we've seen pass in the last year?’” Shrader says. “I can mark priorities [in FiscalNote] 𑁋 high, medium, or low 𑁋 and positions 𑁋 support, monitor, or oppose 𑁋 and it’s going to help me focus and get some of the noise out of the way.”
Multiple Team Members, Roles, and Objectives 𑁋 One Tool
FiscalNote’s flexible and expansive set of functionality works for PCMA team members’ different needs 𑁋 from policy analysts to lobbyists to managers. Naturally, how Shrader uses FiscalNote differs from the way her colleagues, like Randy Kane, senior manager of state affairs, use the tools.
From a success standpoint, given the amount of requests I get on any given day, I wouldn't be able to respond in 15 to 20 minutes without having FiscalNote at my fingertips.Randy Kane, Senior Manager of State Affairs
“I don’t think we could do our jobs without the services [FiscalNote] provides,” Kane says. Managing requests across all member companies and sharing insights on impactful legislative developments across the states, it’s crucial he has quick and easy access to up-to-date information to effectively perform his job. “From a success standpoint, given the amount of requests I get on any given day, I wouldn't be able to respond in 15 to 20 minutes without having FiscalNote at my fingertips.”
Of course, tracking policy development is only one piece of the puzzle for any government affairs team. Leveraging the work his team members do in FiscalNote, Kane can assess the implications of critical pieces of policies, identify trends, and inform forward-looking strategy.
“Say, on any given month, we've seen the most introduced bills on this issue, but we've actually written the most common letters on bills related to this other issue,” Kane says. “I'll report these findings to our policy shop. From there, we'll work on whether or not we need to produce new advocacy materials, comment letters, things like that.”
With folks responsible for multiple states and high volumes of complex bills, the team needs a database to house the considerable amount of additional work being done on top of tracking bills 𑁋 and Shrader needs a bird’s eye view into that activity.
“Competitors house bills. What sticks out [with FiscalNote] is built-in functionality that we can use as a centralized management tool.” Shrader says. “We’re working toward putting in our talking points, testimony, or comment letters for every bill that we do [advocacy] on so that at the end of the season, we'll be able to look at how much advocacy we did.” Having a tool that houses this information across team members makes a big difference for a manager, especially at the end of a season, quarter, or year when results are being evaluated.
Building a Centralized Hub for Institutional Knowledge
Having access to a single repository — keeping a record of all the moving pieces associated with their work — is needed to drive alignment and increase efficiencies across team members. From policy developments to activity metrics, teams need an easy and reliable place to get the information they need. “If there is a new person that joins the team, they can get that historical perspective from the platform,” Shrader says.
FiscalNote’s centralized policy hub is the optimal tool for government relations teams managing complex policy issues. Identify and prioritize developing issues, assess their impact, and take action accordingly — all while keeping your team on the same page.
Curated Information at Your Fingertips
FiscalNote ensures the critical information is surfaced for PCMA’s team through policy analysis and reporting services performed by our Professional Services team.
Acting as an extension of PCMA’s team, a dedicated FiscalNote policy expert curates lists of relevant bills, summarizes the bill impact, and shares weekly reports with PCMA. For teams of lobbyists otherwise tasked with sifting through thousands of potentially irrelevant bills, this tailored solution saves resources and provides the information that matters. “All the legislation is there. Pulling it, tagging it, and summarizing it 𑁋 that's an added bonus on top of it,” Shrader says of the service.
Accessing relevant information on-the-fly thanks to the mobile app is an additional benefit for the PCMA team. “I look at it every morning before I start my day,” Shrader says. “Everyone can have the app on their phones. Before going to testify, they’ll go into the app and read the bill quickly.”
Building an Efficient Government Affairs Strategy and Team with One Tool
FiscalNote is the most comprehensive technology solution on the market for managing the policy issues that present the greatest risks and opportunities to your organization. Access our news and analysis, tracking, stakeholder management, advocacy, and collaboration tools so you can monitor the entire policymaking world from start to finish and prove your ROI.
Discover what’s happening, assess its impact, and act to move the needle — and do it all while keeping your team and the people who matter on the same page wherever they are.
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