Here at Medly Pharmacy, we’re focused on making prescriptions a seamless process for both patients and providers. Our participating practices make this innovative approach possible. In our latest Medly practitioner profile, we’re spotlighting Vincent Polizio, PA-C, provider at Certified Dermatology of New Jersey. Read on to learn about his experiences navigating the pandemic and how Medly has created greater efficiency for his practice.
What’s a typical day look like for Polizio? In a word, busy. Certified Dermatology’s high-volume practice means Polizio sees patients of all ages from all backgrounds each day. Treating such a wide variety of patients means he can see a baby with atopic dermatitis, followed by a teenager with acne and then a senior with psoriasis.
Dividing his time between three locations in Central Jersey, the most common conditions he sees are eczema and psoriasis. along with skin cancers, hidradenitis suppurativa and seborrheic dermatitis.
Polizio grew up in Staten Island, NY and from an early age knew he wanted to enter the medical field. Attending college at the University of Stony Brook in Long Island, he then entered the Sisters of Charity Medical Center Physician Assistant Program, graduating in 2000. Since then, Polizio has been a practicing Physician’s Assistant, joining Certified Dermatology of New Jersey shortly after graduation.
With a passion for dermatology, Polizio cites Certified Dermatology’s founder, Dr. Rami Geffnerl, as being instrumental to his career, both as a teacher and mentor in the field. He sees this as an exciting time in dermatology, with patients more informed and interested in new treatments. He finds patients coming in at an earlier age for skin cancer check-ups and evaluations.
Advancements in biologics have been a game changer for Polizio’s practice as evident in the positive impact they’ve had on his patients’ lives. Using Medly Pharmacy has helped Polizio and his patients have better access to these cutting-edge treatments. “I use them as much as I can for biologics,” he says, “because they really do make it a very seamless process from getting the patient approved to getting them their medications.”
Although he sees patients more attentive to their skin cancer risk, it’s still important to him to remind everyone about the dangers of the sun and why it’s important to get in the habit of wearing sunscreen from an early age. He says this is the best way to limit the risk of skin cancer and prevent premature aging.
“My biggest piece of advice is If you notice something, don't delay, come in as soon as you can if you detect something,” explains Polizio. “It's always going to be easier to treat when something is smaller and in an earlier stage. For an annual routine skin check with no skin elements, I recommend once a year. But, if somebody has any type of underlying or chronic skin condition, then the recommendations can change based on what we're treating.”
Polizio finds the field of dermatology extremely rewarding because of the immediate impact he has on patients. “I enjoy making people happy. Dermatology is a very visual field of medicine where people see results instantly. It's gratifying when you can make a difference in people’s lives and they can see the difference. When I’m able to take something off their skin or help it to go away -- it has an emotional impact.”
Like many other practices, the pandemic presented very real challenges in regards to this impact. However, Polizio says that Certified Dermatology benefited from having already done the work to move into telemedicine prior to the pandemic, preventing them from wasting resources trying to play catch up in the midst of the shutdown scramble. Polizio says that the biggest issues to fully embracing the change were the concerns about insurance coverage and finding the right technology. “We started to do it just prior to COVID and then when COVID hit, we were able to see patients that had a lot of chronic medical conditions. It was helpful that we had been proactive.”
Polizio says the practice has adjusted to implementing CDC guidelines for spacing, distancing and scheduling. Ensuring the office capacity is at the right number is a particular challenge for such a high-volume practice. His advice to other practices is to take precautions but don’t be afraid to open back up. “Your patients need you. Of course, you have to adapt a little bit and you have to roll with the new changes and guidelines. But I hear a lot of people are finding us because their practices haven't reopened the way they want. They won't bring them in for their skin checks and their skin exams, so the patients from those practices are finding us.”
With all of the variable and uncertainties, Polizio has been able to reply on Medly Pharmacy. “Medly has been great. They really have been a breath of fresh air. They do a dynamite job on the backend to help us with the prior authorizations.” Polizio says he particularly appreciates Medly’s level of communication, always keeping him informed. “If we need something, we can reach out to them. It’s been a very user-friendly platform for us. I've been very pleased.”
Polizio also appreciates that his patients’ reaction to Medly has been so positive. “The feedback I hear from my patients is equally rewarding. They love it. They say Medly reaches out to them, they deliver their prescriptions right to their doorstep. These are things that patients are happy about because it makes it easy for them.”
The difference has been refreshingly satisfying for Polizio who has had less than stellar experiences with other pharmacy services. “I have had some experiences where a pharmacy was doing well in the beginning. Then they either got too busy or they couldn't handle the volume we were sending to them.” He says patients began to slip through the cracks, weren't getting approval and no one was telling him. “It impacted my patients, which was upsetting. If my patients can't get their proper medications and treatment, that becomes a problem for me. That's one of the reasons why I came to Medly. It’s been a great experience. Using Medly has been a no-brainer.”