Q&A: Best Practices for Participant-Centric Payments in Clinical Trials

By Laura Hilty | Vice President, Product Management & Operations, Nimblify, Inc.
November 15th, 2016

Summary: Laura Hilty of Nimblify answers attendee questions from her recent webinar "Best Practices for Participant-Centric Payments in Clinical Trials."

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Following her recent webinar Best Practices for Participant-Centric Payments in Clinical Trials, Laura Hilty of Nimblify answers attendee questions on 1099 reporting and sponsor compensation for automatic participant payment systems.


What are the exact 1099 tax reporting requirements for participants compensated by clinical research sites? Do participant payment systems automate this process?


If the participant is simply being reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, the payment does not qualify as taxable income. However, if the participant is being compensated for participating in a study, and he or she has accumulated over $600 in study-related compensation in a single calendar year, then this is seen as taxable. At this point, the site should provide a 1099-MISC to the participant. Our Nimblify Payments solution, as well as other payment systems help to automate this process.

To learn more about 1099 reporting requirements and a key exception to this rule, we do have a more in-depth article on the Nimblify blog.


Do you have any additional tips on working with sponsors to cover the cost of an automated payment system?


In the webinar, I discussed a few reasons why using a participant-centric approach to stipends and reimbursements makes sense for all parties involved. Sites and sponsors benefit from happy participants, and allowing the patient to choose his or her payment method can go a long way toward retention. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we burden subjects by delaying payments. By helping with the cost of a payment system, the sponsor can affect a real, positive change in the lives of their study volunteers.

Of course, if we’re making the case to a sponsor, there needs to be an ROI element to this as well. Automated systems typically save time and money for the sites themselves, and some of those savings can be passed through to the sponsor in study budgets. Sponsors that directly work with stipends and other payments will see these benefits as well. In the webinar, we briefly covered the ROI observed by Indiana University (IU) Simon Cancer Center after implementing our payments system. We have a case study on our site if you’d like to learn more about IU’s experience with Nimblify.

Learn More

Watch the full webinar to learn more about how patient-centric payments systems can improve the experience for participants, sites and sponsors.

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About the Author

Laura Hilty is the VP of Product Management and Operations for Nimblify. With a passion for creating more efficient processes throughout clinical research, Laura’s work is focused on leading efforts to create efficiencies for all stakeholders (participants, sites, sponsors, and CROs) in the clinical research ecosystem. Prior to Nimblify, Laura spent six years at Forte Research Systems implementing systems at large academic medical centers and cancer centers; and then launching several new products, including Allegro CTMS, Overture EDC, Research Resonance Network and more.

Website: Nimblify, Inc.

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