August 28th, 2023
4 Reasons Sites Need to Automate Processes Around Clinical Trial Billing
By Jai Singh, Vice President of Site Growth and Adoption at OneStudyTeam
By: Jai Singh, Senior Vice President of Site Growth and Adoption at OneStudyTeam
When you look at clinical trial site financials at a high level, gaps in invoice creation, gaps in billing, and gaps in payment reconciliation can all add up. That combination of gaps can mean your site team is leaving hard-earned money on the table. It could even mean what was initially a profitable study is actually costing you money. That limited income could prevent you from taking on other profitable studies, too.
Setting up automated processes around tracking, billing, and budgeting can improve both efficiency and accuracy. Here are four specific benefits sites have to gain from automating clinical trial billing with software.
(1) To easily and automatically track billable activities
Accurate activity tracking can be difficult – it requires frequent and clear communication between staff to ensure that they are not just accurately capturing that work, but that it’s getting translated into appropriate documentation to get paid by the sponsor. While communication is still important in checking off the right study activity tasks, clinical trial billing software can automatically document those tasks along with the associated costs of each activity.
(2) To build accurate invoices for efficient reimbursement
Reimbursement processes can already be slow for trials. Depending on the contract between a site and a sponsor, reimbursement cadences can be as prolonged as every three months. Invoicing errors, specifically tasks that are billed incorrectly, can further delay payments from sponsors. To ensure your site team is getting paid in an efficient manner to support operations, it’s important to be proactive in submitting timely and accurate invoices. Automated tracking of invoiceable activities leads to accurate invoicing, to keep timelines moving efficiently.
(3) To improve cost estimation and resource allocation
As part of a site team, you need an easy and accurate way to document costs so you know what your actual margins are, or if your study is profitable. Automations that assign specific dollar amounts to specific trial tasks can ensure accuracy, and that you aren’t estimating or charging less for study activities than you need to be. This can also ensure there aren’t any billable study activities going uncharged. With these set charges in place, it’s easier to get a full picture of your site’s cash flow for future budgeting as well as for determining needs for additional resources.
(4) To free up time for patient care and protocol adherence
Manual accounting processes can create an overwhelming workload for research staff, especially if they’re not trained in that skillset. This extra effort can detract from patient care while slowing down overall trial workflows. While automated systems may require some time for the initial setup and occasional updates, the bulk of your team’s workload will be allocated to patient care.
With automated clinical trial billing, you can have more clarity around your site’s true operating costs, you can effectively allocate financial resources to ensure your trials stay within budget, you can ensure fewer hidden costs slip through the cracks, and you can be certain that less money is left on the table. Bonus: Your site team can have more productive discussions with sponsors about costs.
Use clinical trial billing software like Site Financials alongside StudyTeam for Sites to ensure your tracking, billing, and budgeting for clinical trials is the most efficient and accurate it can be.
Site teams who use our patient enrollment management platform, StudyTeam, can easily automate processes around clinical trial site billing using a built-in Site Financials feature. Site Financials assigns a budget to all trial activities like patient visits, procedures, and other study activities, and then automatically tracks when those activities have been completed in real time. Using Site Financials, you will quickly generate budgets and accounts receivable to increase efficiency, accuracy, and profitability while improving clinical trial workflows.
How is this so easy? When the OneStudyTeam Trial Design team builds your trial protocol into the StudyTeam for Sites platform, we link Site Financials to that protocol. So as soon as you complete a patient visit or other study activity, the cost of that task is accurately and automatically accounted for and invoiced.
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