Last week Forte joined almost 300 clinical research professionals from across the country to share experiences and best practices related to clinical trial billing. The conference provided an informative, well-rounded glimpse into the most pressing compliance issues for academic sites, sponsors and payers. Experts weighed in on topics such as optimizing the coverage analysis process, standardizing workflows and documents across an enterprise and the role of ethics and corporate compliance in research billing.
The conference kicked off with host Kelly Willenberg highlighting the increased need to establish compliant billing practices during her opening remarks, and then moderating a panel discussion taking a deep dive into Medicare billing. Later, presenters from Loyola University of Chicago and Rush University Medical Center outlined the complex processes and key roles needed to ensure that centers remain compliant while recovering the revenue related to a clinical trial.
Highlighting the Importance of CTMS/EMR Integration
A panel discussion on day two of the conference highlighted the importance of using technology to maximize billing compliance and efficiency. Panelists from the Harrington Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, Multicare Institute for Research and Innovation and more outlined their processes for centralizing processes and integrating systems to improve compliance.
While all panelists shared the same goal, limitations on staffing, technology and other resources affected how they ultimately built a compliant process. Some used spreadsheets or other limited-functionality clinical trial management systems (CTMS), while others utilized more advanced processes that integrated the CTMS and EMR to centralize the clinical trial’s billing grid. This, and other integrations, ensure that key subject, protocol and billing information can be accessed by both research and billing staff. This greatly reduces the risk of noncompliance while streamlining the billing process for academic institutions.
A Q&A session followed, with audience members asking how to address inefficiencies within their own billing processes. Integrations between clinical trial management systems and Epic were a key area of need for many institutions. As an OnCore customer utilizing the Epic EMR (and the many integrations between the two systems) Kelly Anastasio, Associate Director of Clinical Trial Resources at the Yale School of Medicine, fielded many of the audience questions. She summarized the Yale clinical billing process, highlighting the need for academic centers and their technology providers to utilize system integration to ensure compliant billing practices.