Eliminate Administrative Distractions
Tufts Medical Center is an internationally-respected academic medical center located in the heart of Boston. As a teaching hospital, Tufts Medical Center prides itself in the sophistication and commitment to the compassionate care they provide to their patients.
Aside from time interacting with subjects, part of the research team’s responsibilities involve administrative duties such as scheduling visits, compiling data and handling patient reimbursements. While administrative work is to be expected at any site, the team realizes that improved and efficient administrative processes can ensure a better experience for patients and the team.
Subject reimbursements are vital to clinical trials as they compensate subjects for their time and effort. Delivering fast and accurate subject reimbursements is important to Tufts Medical Center. They realized that manually processing payments and reimbursements with cash or check was a process that needed to be improved upon.
For every subject visit to the research clinic, which some days could be 25, coordinators would have to walk 10 – 15 minutes to the petty cash office and provide documentation indicating the reason for the subject visit. This process required the team to take additional effort in preparing for each visit.
When a subject was being reimbursed via a check, anything more than $100 required coordinators to submit a request, which triggered a host of additional administrative processes, causing a major delay in the subject receiving its payment, in some cases upwards of a month.
Dealing with numerous and multi-step subject payment methods, Tufts Medical Center found themselves with administrative processes that not only put a burden on the research team and accounts payable department, but was lacking efficiency and needed improvement. In addition, they had no efficient way to track, monitor and audit their payment workflows.
A Forward-Thinking Approach
Tufts Medical Center was an ideal hospital for an automated subject reimbursement solution that was designed for clinical research. Douglas Reichgott, Director of Financial and Regulatory Operations at Tufts Medical Center, was immediately impressed with the potential advantages provided by the ClinCard and implemented the solution in 2011. Since then, the medical center has moved away from petty cash and checks. Within three years of implementing ClinCard, 100% of Tufts Medical Center’s studies were automating payments with ClinCard. In fact, the use of ClinCard is now required for all of its trials.
Tufts Medical Center is now able to compensate subjects immediately via the reloadable debit card, while enjoying the added benefit of a simple payment tracking process. With immediate subject reimbursement, Tufts staff can further support a better clinical trial experience with the compassion and care they are committed to providing.
The ClinCard solution has enabled the Research Administration department to have a centralized view into all payments and transactions made.
“The Research Administrators that serve as Approvers love the ability to run reports and simply export them to Excel. They are able to reconcile study budgets, see if all patients have been paid, and if we’re getting payments from sponsors. All of the information is in one place, a luxury we would not have without the ClinCard,” said Emily Cameron.
The IRS requires that 1099s be generated when patients are paid over $600 over the course of a year. The ClinCard solution allows Tuft Medical Center staff to easily run a report to identify which study participants require a 1099 form. Previously, this manual process would take up a significant amount of an administrator’s time.
Backed by an Expert Team
Greenphire provides more than just a payment solution. As an institution with many users and research studies occurring simultaneously, it is important that if any support issues arise, they are addressed and resolved quickly. Emily Cameron recalls, “Regardless of the issue or who is calling, a subject with a question about their ClinCard or a coordinator asking about the financial trail of a payment, Greenphire is prompt to respond and get the issue resolved.”
Tufts Medical Center is an institution that prides itself in the care they provide and the compassionate way in which they provide it. The ClinCard Solution provides a number of benefits, including enhanced reporting and compliance. Most importantly, the solution has enabled Tufts Medical Center to take a step back from manual administrative work related to payment processing and provide an enhanced subject experience.
"All of the information is in one place, a luxury we would not have without the Clincard,"
- Emily Cameron, Research Administrator, Medical and Surgical Specialties, Tufts Medical Center