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Site Payment Best Practices: Payment Frequency

This is the second post in a series that takes a closer look at the Best Practices outlined by the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) and how a centralized automated solution support these best practices.

In our previous post, we began to discuss the findings in SCRS’ Site Payment Best Practices and its recommendation to eliminate holdbacks in site/sponsor/CRO contracts. In this post, we will look at another one of the recommended best practices: payment frequency (payment within 30 days).

Why don’t quarterly payments work?

According to research conducted by Greenphire, and validated by SCRS in its Site Payment White Paper, more than half of US sites receive payment on a quarterly basis.

However, at this frequency, a site doesn’t receive payment for an additional four to six and a half months after the quarter ends, long after work performed is completed. This is due to the internal processes of large organizations. This why 80 percent of sites would prefer to be paid monthly.

What impact does this have on sites?

Per our Site Payment Survey 80 percent of US sites report that studies that pay quarterly will incur a negative impact on the execution of the study. Quarterly payments have the potential to force sites to front costs which can quickly add up. Without a consistent cash flow, a site’s resources are restricted and it becomes difficult for a site to maintain sustainability – making it difficult to recruit patients and retain patients, while also supporting research.  

Why would anyone pay quarterly?

Historically, all payment processes from sponsors and CROs to sites have been a manual process. Due to the time and effort it takes to manually log reconciliations, invoices, transactions, generate financial reports, it became a best practice to pay sites quarterly. No one could imagine taking on this task each month.

How can sponsors and CROs pay sites more frequently?

In our Site Payment Survey, Greenphire found that nearly 90 percent of sites reported that they would prefer to work with a sponsor or CRO that automates the site payment process. Technology solutions such as Greenphire’s eClinicalGPS make this possible.

The centralized site payment platform allows sponsors and CROs to pay their sites monthly, automatically. Specific contract terms can be configured to automatically trigger payments to sites upon work completion, so sites no longer wait an additional four to six months to receive payments.

By streamlining payments on a centralized platform across the globe, eClincialGPS makes it easy for sponsors and CROs follow SCRS’ site payments best practices in paying sites monthly. In turn, providing sites with a consistent cash flow, automated reconciliation, and full visibility into payment status, while enabling more collaborative site, sponsor and CRO partnerships.

Ashley Leuthe
Written by Ashley Leuthe

As Senior Product Manager, Ashley oversees the strategic direction for the eClinicalGPS solution.