Ask any organizational staff member and you’re sure to hear about the perpetual challenges and pains of managing data. Sure, we love it. Data increases organizational efficiency and allows staff members to make faster and more accurate decisions. But managing data can be a headache. It’s one task to collect, another step to enter, and a whole other project to go back and make sure what’s collected is reliable and consistent. Then, as the number of contributors expand, data inconsistencies and redundant records start to become even more rampant.
Consequently, managing data often takes an ample of amount of time and is a never-ending, tedious task to ensure data integrity—a crucial element when managing compliance issues.
Life sciences organizations face increasing transparency regulations
Faced with unique operational challenges in managing data, the life sciences industry – pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device organizations – has recently felt increasing external pressures to ensure data integrity. Government compliance regulations such as the Sunshine Act, or Open Payments, have started requiring life sciences organizations to collect and disclose large amounts of healthcare provider (HCP) data.
While many industries and the organizations within them understand the common pains of managing data, life sciences organizations have the added challenge of routinely submitting their HCP spend data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS). But it’s not sending the data to CMS where life sciences organizations are struggling. The added complexity comes from the large amount of information that must be routinely reported, often requiring life sciences organizations to pour in massive investments into their data systems to ensure Open Payments compliance. PhRMA members have reported that annual ongoing costs can range from $2 million annually for mid-sized pharmaceutical organizations to more than $5 million each year for large organizations, making the process a financial burden.
Unfortunately, the potential financial costs don’t stop there. Inconsistent or redundant data could result in noncompliance and lead to a civil monetary penalty, potentially costing your organization up to $1 million in fines.
Now more than ever, life sciences organizations need to be prepared and ensure their HCP spend data is correct and consistent in order to stay ahead of compliance regulations.
A day in life sciences with a manual HCP data solution
Even before Open Payments became a regulation, tracking HCP spend allocation was a monotonous task. Often searching your database for a HCP’s name to assign expenses never returned correct results and almost always involved missing information. Most likely, this was because staff members at the time didn’t find the information important, such as middle name or street address, but now it was required for Open Payments compliance. In other instances, search results would return duplicate records, and with common names and missing information combined, it was almost impossible to determine which Robert Smith or Maria Garcia was the right one.
Mistakes like these are all too common when data is manually entered. When the time comes to routinely submit your organization’s information for Open Payments, finance teams are burdened with the task of sorting through thousands of records, sometimes having to inspect multiple databases to ensure its integrity.
A day in life sciences with a streamlined HCP data solution
To help alleviate data and expense challenges, SAP Concur has partnered with healthcare database specialists, MedPro and IMS Health, to lift the burden off Life Sciences organizations. Through partnered Concur Connect apps, Life Sciences organizations can streamline partnered HCP data and integrate it with their Concur Invoice and Concur Expense solutions, effortlessly maintaining regulatory compliance.
MedPro Concur Connect Solution had streamlined our Aggregate Spend reporting by eliminating the need to maintain an internal healthcare professional database, improving the overall accuracy of the data we report to CMS every year.—Steve Dawson, Finance Manager, AP, and T&E Reimbursement at Merz Pharma GmbH & Co.
With a partnered Concur Connect App, Life Sciences organizations can:
1. Eliminate the manual entry of HCP attendee information:
Get near to real-time results from SAP Concur App Center partners databases, some which contain 21 million records of all HCPs required for the U.S. federal and state compliance report, as well as international HCPs.
2. Search, capture, and export HCP data within Concur Invoice and Concur Expense:
- Search from within Concur Invoice and Concur Expense to access HCP information at the time of expense capture.
- Quickly capture accurate, comprehensive HCP data fields required to meet federal and state Open Payments regulations and add data to a Concur Invoice payment or Concur Expense report.
- Automatically import Attendee Detail Extract (ADE) files from SAP Concur to any internally developed or 3rd part Aggregate Spend reporting solution.
3. Stay ahead of Open Payments compliance Issues
SAP Concur helps Life Science organizations meet industry demands by delivering an ecosystem of innovative solutions that facilitate compliance in both company policy and government regulations to help control costs and drive complete visibility into spend.
With a streamlined HCP data solution, Life Sciences organizations have found an average 10 to 12 percent higher search match rate. A simple search of the HCP first and last name returns correct results, rather than having to enter the HCP license number.
But most importantly, the burden to provide correct HCP data is lifted off of your organization’s finance team and transferred to the SAP Concur App Partner. Steve Dawson, Finance Manager, AP, and T&E Reimbursement at Merz Pharma GmbH & Co speaks to this benefit, “MedPro Concur Connect Solution has streamlined our Aggregate Spend reporting by eliminating the need to maintain an internal healthcare professional database, improving the overall accuracy of the data we report to CMS every year.” And if regulations change from CMS, like they often do, healthcare data organizations stay up to date, constantly publishing the latest information required so that your organization can stay ahead of HCP compliance issues.
For more information on how to manage your HCP spend data, download our Essential Guide to Open Payments Compliance or visit our Life Sciences Solutions website to review additional materials including brochures, videos, and case studies.