Career evolution leads to Medicare project

Frank LaSota, senior manager at National Government Services Inc., runs special projects that impact millions but sees results one person at a time.

Frank LaSota has a daunting task: make more than 46 million Medicare beneficiaries happy.

As senior manager of next-generation desktop and special projects at National Government Services Inc., LaSota oversees the communications system people use to enroll in Medicare and manage their accounts, all through a 1-800 number and the MyMedicare Web site.

“One of the biggest challenges is during open enrollment in mid-November when 46 million beneficiaries start using the system and there are technical challenges that need to be solved quickly,” LaSota said. “You can’t impact the centers because you can’t leave them out in the cold.”

LaSota, 33, started his career as an Indiana University graduate at the tail end of the dot-com boom when things were about to bust. His first jobs found him writing software and working on systems architecture. He then earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University, where he became interested in contract management.

“I look at my career as a series of evolutions,” he said. “From when I started as a developer, honing the skill sets I needed and then into management and just trying to work with a lot of people and establishing relationships.”

He said his role on the Medicare program has been one of the most rewarding because of the ability to help individual beneficiaries, such as being able to track whether a patient is prescribed medications that can’t be taken together. One of the biggest lessons he has learned is the importance of good customer service, a skill that can be applied to any business.

“You think it’s this big universe, but actually it comes down to customer service and one individual beneficiary,” he said. “Seeing the team accomplish something is very rewarding.”

His job also allows him to work with cutting-edge technology, another rewarding aspect of working in government contracting.

“You get to explore that side of your brain that most people don’t get to do every day,” he said.

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