Defining the Cost of Patient Reimbursement

July 27 2016

When conducting a clinical trial, patients are often reimbursed for their time to participate and remain engaged throughout the study.

Reimbursing a patient is not as simple as it sounds. Ensuring blinded identities, secure transactions, accurate, fast payment delivery is a complex task that falls on the responsibilities of the researchers who likely have a myriad of other tasks they could (and should) be completing.

Many research sites have taken the route to reimburse patients with cash, checks, gift cards or money orders – but all of these, while seemingly a simple solution, bring a host of challenges and increased workload on the research site.

This has driven many research sites, CROs and sponsors to look for a better way to reimburse their subjects. Many are often surprised at the “cost” of a better, more controlled way to distribute patient reimbursements. This is because the cost of reimbursing that patient is not always clear.  The ROI is “soft” – and comes in a time, resource savings.

It is a common struggle for research sites, CROs and sponsors to have a hard time quantifying the time, costs and resources spent on patient reimbursement. Here are key factors that come into play:

  1. The cost of writing a check, distributing cash (risks associated)
  2. Rework, human error
  3. Limitations with visibility, traceability
  4. Patient dropout due to delayed reimbursement

Getting a full understanding of what exactly these costs are and, more importantly, how they are affecting the performance of your research site, will enable you to gain a better understanding of the impact that an automated reimbursement solution can provide.

Kyle Cunningham
Chief Product Officer
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