When Sites Don’t Get Paid

May 03 2024  

According to the Society for Clinical Research Sites, site success impacts everyone in research.

Yet their recent Site Landscape Survey shows just how precarious the financial position of clinical research sites is:

  • 38% of sites experienced a decline in profit in 2023
  • 76% prefer monthly payments, yet 30% are receiving quarterly payments
  • 43% of sites report 3 months or less of operating capital in the bank

Cash flow is the lifeline of sites and delays in paying them puts them in a difficult position.

Prior to working at Greenphire, I was not only a Site Payments leader at a CRO but I also worked in a centralized site network. I participated in a SCRS collaborative session between Sponsors, CROs and sites, designed to bring a voice to sites who felt that they were “funding” the trials due to delayed timelines to payments. As a lead for a network, I heard directly from site staff, just how detrimental delayed payments are on sites and I wholeheartedly know that this is an area that we need to continue to improve.

Below, are some too-common actions that can happen when a site doesn’t get paid on time:

  1. Sites threaten to stop work on the study: every day in a clinical trial is critical, and a stoppage of activity can result in lost data, patient disruption and extension of trial timelines.
  2. Sites can threaten legal action: No one wants a litigious work environment, but in order to ensure compliance with stated contractual obligations, sometimes sites would contact their legal counsel to demand payment. This is time not well-spent and it does not create a constructive work relationship.
  3. Sites feel added administrative burden: Many sites are already cramped for time, and don’t have time to process invoices. Oftentimes, sites do not have a financial team and the clinical staff also generate the invoices, meaning this is time away from patients. Far too often, sites need to re-generate or revise invoices multiple times to receive payment. Many sites complain of constantly chasing sponsors and CROs for payment. This is not only an administrative burden, but is also a financial risk for many sites.
  4. Patients don’t get paid: If patient stipends & travel are a part of the site budget, patients may not get timely reimbursements if sites aren’t paid on time. No one wants to see this.
  5. Sites prioritize other trials: If you are not paying sites regularly, many sites will prioritize recruitment on studies where their payor has a good reputation of payments or who offers a more frequent payment schedule. This means that competitive payments equals less competitive enrollment.
  6. Site closures: Sites have closed b/c of lack of funds. Plain and simple.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Greenphire makes it easy for you to earn a sponsor of choice designation with your sites. We’ve worked with hundreds of sponsors to streamline payments for more than 50,000 sites.

In fact, here’s what some of our clients have to say about their experience in using our technology.

  • Sponsor testimonial: We used to have hundreds of emails coming to us from the sites with their invoices attached. Now the sites can enter their invoices in GPS. The sites can also see things like the status of their payments in real-time now, so it’s been a win for us and the sites. With GPS invoices are now consistently “submitted, processed, paid.”
  • CRO Testimonial: The biggest win of eClinicalGPS is that it has made site payments a lot less painful. Before we had Greenphire we would have to go through spreadsheets manually, trying to figure out who to pay and when, for more than 100 sites. Greenphire has helped save us from going insane.”

Sponsors report an 80% reduction in time spent on payment inquiries and an increase in site satisfaction using Greenphire technology. If improving site sustainability and improving payment operations and delivering ROI for your study are priorities for your clinical trials, I’d suggest you take the next the next step in exploring Greenphire’s industry leading site payment solution:

  • eClinical GPS: The Most Advanced Investigator Site Payment Solution
  • White Paper: Driving ROI – The Business Case for a Comprehensive Financial Transformation Solution for Clinical Trials
  • Speak to a Specialist: Learn more about our solutions and kick off a discovery conversation for your upcoming studies
Michelle Ray
Director of Customer Success

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