Site Payment Vendor Selection – Things to Consider

Hi everyone welcome to another episode
of ClinBiz where we love connecting with you on the business aspects of
clinical trials, so in today’s video we’re actually going to cover a topic
that we’ve been getting a lot of questions on here at Clinbiz which is a
topic of what are some things to consider when selecting a site payment
vendor? So we’re actually going to cover a few top tips today but we’ll have the
complete and full checklist later on this month to our newsletter subscribers
so if the topic interests you or you like to share with your teams make sure
you subscribe to our newsletter at CLINBIZ.COM. All right so stay tuned Well, welcome back so today we’re going
to talk about what are some things to consider when you’re selecting a site
payment vendor? So a site payments are usually payments that a clinical study
sponsor needs to pay an investigator site during the course of a clinical
trial for the work they perform in that clinical trial well it sounds simple enough right? But for some reason a lot of study sponsors
have had an issue and this is a pain point in our industry with actually
paying the sites on time, with the proper details accurately and all those kind of
things and this is where site payment vendors and services have come up in the
last few years which is great that we’re having some innovation in the industry
but that leaves us with some additional questions for when you’re selecting
those vendors what are some things to keep in mind and that’s what we want to
address in our video today. So what are some things some top the tips that you
need to make sure you have in place or you ask the proper questions when you’re
selecting a site payment vendor? So number one you should really first
establish what is the site payment model that you’re going to follow for your
organization and by that I mean are you going to fully outsource the payment
function meaning the people and the technology is going to be completely
done by your site paying vendor? Are you gonna be doing that? We’ll call that the
fully outsourced model. Or are you gonna be doing it in-house fully where you have
the people in-house and you have your own homegrown or good old Excel
spreadsheet that you’re using in-house and in that case you actually don’t need a site payment vendor. Or using a type of hybrid
approach? Again this is not a full, you know, checklist or anything like that but
for the purpose of this video we’ll stick with these three main types of
models and we’ll actually just address a fully outsourced and hybrid model for
the questions on this video. And the hybrid model would be when you have
in-house people to actually perform the site payment function but you’re looking
for a technology to better serve that function so you’re going out to a site
payment vendor to get that okay? So let’s jump onto some questions and some things
you need to have in mind when you’re selecting these vendors and let’s think
as if you’re going with a fully outsourced model or a hybrid
where you’re actually using the technology of this vendor. So one of the
very first things I would look for is what is the ease of working within
that system that site payment vendors system or using your services, how easy
is it to use it if you’re going to be using it in-house as a study sponsor
with your own people and their technology, or if you’re going to be
full outsourcing, how easy is it to work with them? How easy is it for sites to
work with them or perhaps even if there’s going to be a site facing portal
let’s say from that vendor with their technology how easy is it for sites to
actually get in and work there? And you know you’re gonna need to ask for some feedback in the industry of course and colleagues and
things like that, but also for you to be able to look at the system demo way and
things of that nature how easy is it to use? One key tip here I would say is
invite an end user, a person that’s gonna be going day in and day out of
performing site payments to actually take a look at the site payment vendor
systems and their processes and services because they are the key people that are
going to come up with very very good questions for you to ask your vendors
right from the beginning, so have your end user whoever’s gonna be doing site
payments actually test out the site payment vendors technologies or in the
very least see a demo and get information from them and they’re going
to actually be able to generate much much more questions for you. Also what is
the ease of the integration of their system with your own systems, right? How
easy is it to integrate their systems in connect their systems with other systems
that you may have, perhaps you want to connect them to your SAP system where a
CTMS system how quickly and also how easy is it to do that? How easy is the
integration? Does the site payment vendor provide that that technology as a
standalone or as a module or do you need to you know or get the other full suite of
systems or full suite of modules for that service how easy is it to integrate
with others? So very important the integration question and the
connection question for your site payment vendor. Something else you need to
look at is to confirm a couple of these things, again not a full
list here on this video. We’ll have that later on for you but how is that
site payment vendor going to accommodate things such as multiple payees, multiple
arms and sub-studies. We know that for let’s say multiple arms a lot of
oncology studies and some other studies are also very complex and they may have
multiple arms and that can become a nightmare for site payments believe it
or not if the proper configurations are not done in that payment vendor
technology or in your processes as well. so you need to think about it and ask them
and if possible ask to actually see how in their system it’s done – how multiple
arms are handled, sub studies and multiple payees. For example, outside of the
US it’s very normal to have multiple payees for an investigator site meaning
the study sponsor actually needs to pay that investigator site whatever payment
they’re going to make but they’re going to need to split it up among a
couple of different payees. So how is that site payment vendor going to be
handling or if in-house you’re going to be using their technology – how will your people be able to handle that in their system. So very
important questions to ask: multiple arms sub studies and multiple payees.
Something else you need to confirm is about budget amendments. Now
we know, if you’ve been in a clinical trial space for a while you know that
protocol amendments are inevitable sometimes in certain studies and these
protocol amendments if they have an impact on the budget they will need
to be updated, the budget amendments and actually have an impact on the site
payments as well. So when that happens you need to be asking upfront and seeing
in real time with your vendor how are they going to be addressing budget
amendments so when there is a budget amendment for a trial how are they going
to be doing that in their system and how long that’s going to be
taking. What’s the turnaround time? If your own people are going to be
using the system then I would suggest if at all possible to have your people go
into system and test it out or at least have the vendor demo out to you how
exactly a budget amendment would be done in real time. How much time – how quickly
you can get that done because that’s going to be one of
the determining factors for you to make that selection so it’s very
important to at least know and be prepared of how long that’s actually
going to take you in terms of budget amendments and their impact on site
payments. So ask those questions and ask to see how long that would take in their
system to have a budget updated which would impact new payments to your sites.
Something else you need to be thinking about is also what if there’s
an issue with the site or in a certain region and the site cannot or does not
want to use that technology site payment vendor’s technology for whatever
reason. They can’t log on to their portal or they do not want
to whatever is the reason – what are exception processes they already have
in place when those kind of things happen. Your site payment vendors should
be able to tell you or at least give you a couple of options of when situations
arise that do not follow the standard process what are some things that can be
available and then you can also see if those work for you and in-house
within your own organization as well because those situations do come up
especially if you’re going outside of the US so you need to be prepared to
deal with site payment vendor exceptions whenever you need to do that. Something else you need to be thinking about is also how will they be funded
and that’s a question you need to be asking the. Is it something that you’re
going to need to pre-fund a large amount to the site
payment vendor in order for them to make those payments? Is there going to be a
Just-In-time approach? Is there going to be a mixture of both or
something else? You need to be asking how they will be
funded and I would include also some folks from Finance at some point because
they’re going to be included at some point anyways in the
conversation so really find out how that
will be done for that site payment vendor to actually make the payments on
your behalf as a study sponsor. Ask those types of questions. The
last thing we’ll talk about here in this video, again full checklist coming up
later on this month for our subscribers, but in this video I’ll just say and it’s
something I recommend in many of our videos is to make sure that any
agreements, any promises in terms of turnaround times, in terms of
capabilities and the system – things that are available to you are really captured
in either a contract or a full guidance document of some sort
and referenced in the contract as well. this will be very important to keep all
parties accountable again not just a site payment vendor but also the study
sponsor on exactly what was agreed to, on exactly what were the conversations
in the beginning because obviously at the time everyone’s trying
to sell you a product,you know some promises can be made and so you want to
make sure that everyone is held accountable to what was agreed up front.
It’s not a problem if something is not possible in a system or things of that
nature but it’s very important that you understand from the beginning what is
possible versus not. So again, capture everything in a
document. So there you have it, just some top tips for you if you’re thinking of
selecting and implementing a site payment vendor in the future. Make sure
you have at least these tips down in your conversations and for your
implementation. Again we’ll have a full checklist on selection and
implementation of site payment vendors later on this month for our newsletter
subscribers so make sure you subscribe at I hope to see you at the
ClinBiz Summit 2020 coming up on March 24th through 26th at the Hyatt Regency
in Morristown New Jersey. It’s going to be an amazing conference you can attend in
person or online. If you’re planning to come in person, please do register soon
because we have limited space for that. Make sure you register quickly so
you’re not left out of this event. You can attend online as well and watch the
entire conference via our livestream registration option which is quite
unique and new. You don’t want to miss this conference if you’re at all
involved with the business aspects of clinical trials. You want to
be in that conference, you want to hear the conversations of things that
are coming, things that are happening. We have a ton of different things in the
agenda – check it out at and I hope to see you soon – take
care – bye bye.