Medidata Payments Reduces Monthly Payment Costs by 50%

With clinical trial sites under increasing cash flow pressure, timely payments from trial sponsors are critical for keeping them focused on patient enrollment.

50%

Cost savings by reducing resources across roles and responsibilities

The Challenge: To move from quarterly to monthly payments and improved site satisfaction

For many life science executives at mid-sized pharma companies or affiliates, the clinical operations manager’s responsibilities extended far beyond financial management — they are tasked with maintaining guidelines, compliance, and trial protocol, all while stewarding relationships with sites to keep the trial running smoothly and on schedule — across multiple studies and project managers.

An enterprise pharma affiliate faced similar challenges with their payment process and identified payment execution as a true pain point, with challenges around processes, sites, reporting, and transparency.

PROCESS INEFFICIENCIES

The company’s payment process was inefficient — limited tools were available with most of the calculations managed on Excel — and the already overwhelmed staff dropped everything each time a site called to discuss a payment-related request. Process predicament started with lengthy vendor setup and required multiple reviews and numerous approval steps. The process also suffered delays and errors from tax calculation and disbursement efforts required to generate payments.

With just a handful of supporting personnel, the team faced challenges around execution and found it difficult to scale from a quarterly payment system to a monthly setup. Given the time-consuming efforts behind manually creating Excel trackers, vendor setups, and invoicing without a standard template — the small team was unable to increase the cadence of payment processing.

SITE ISSUES

Beyond the internal stress, this life sciences company’s payments process woes extended to sites. Supporting site queries on payments required significant effort for both the sponsor and site, as well as the time consuming minutia of multiple requests for invoice revisions. The quarterly batching of payments also added a layer of complexity when determining taxes. All of these headaches added to overall site dissatisfaction and potentially impacted enrollment — leading to possible to site turnover and increasing trial costs.

REPORTING AND TRANSPARENCY

Finally, the affiliate faced challenges with their cumbersome reporting tools of the legacy system. Their reporting capabilities were disconnected, required manual forecasting, and were quite time consuming — limiting the reporting for management and decision making.

The Challenge: Medidata Payments Managed Service Model 

Medidata conducted a full business process review with the sponsor and identified the managed service model as an opportunity to improve the existing payments process. Medidata Edge Site Payments – the industry’s only cloud-based, global site payment technology solution driven by an EDC system – provides real-time tracking reports when site staff completes their work, and quickly and accurately assembles cost data to disburse payments anywhere across the globe. Rolling out Medidata Payments to upcoming study starts will ultimately reduce the time and cost incurred from payment delay by eliminating inefficiencies with the current internal model. 

The Benefits: A Monthly Payment Process with Increased Site Satisfaction and Engagement 

Medidata Edge Site Payments enables the company to improve their payment processing times, ensuring timely and accurate payment at their desired frequency by reducing the resources required for each payment. The technology solution automatically triggers payments from EDC visit data, and will accommodate the increase from quarterly to monthly processing times without adding additional FTE and therefore better utilizing the existing manpower.

The sponsor’s payment process spread across key roles including the Payments Coordinator, the Clinical Research Assistant (CRA), Project Manager and Finance Manager. A 50% cost savings realization from Edge Site Payments is directly correlated to the reduction of the resources for these key personnel.

Moving away from manual efforts reduces errors and risks and enables the company to make data-driven decisions by leveraging the real-time reporting. The team benefits from reduced time spent generating payment remittance letters and no longer has to stop everything to address payment requests from sites, as the sites benefit from transparency with site portal access for all payment-related information.

Medidata Edge Site Payments transforms the site experience in a time where 40% of clinical trial investigators cite payments as their top concern(1); the company supports their sites and increases satisfaction and enrollment by shortening payment cycle times, increasing accuracy, and eliminating hours allocated to reconciliation and reporting. Paying sites in a timely and accurate manner increases site satisfaction, and thereby performance. Reducing the time spent on payments will improve focus on enrollment and study prioritization.

There is ultimately a great value to the sponsor in the scalable model built to support varying volumes of payments — which can be extended to additional studies and serve as pilot for the company, with less risk of new product adoption.

 

 

1 SCRS Site Solutions Summit. Survey of Investigative Sites in the US; 2013