With pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies required to track payments to physicians starting January 1, 2012, under the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Provisions, StarCite recently offered some recommendations on how to track spend in a webinar titled “Tracking HCP-Related Meeting Spend Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult.”

“Unless we get ready now, this could be a billion-dollar problem,” said panelist Allan Brown, director of strategic accounts at StarCite, quoting an executive at a major pharmaceutical company. Not only will companies be fined if they do not report payments to physicians come early 2013, but they will also take a public relations hit.

Disclosure requirements and regulations involving gifts to healthcare professionals differ by state and by country. Planners should create their processes to track and report spend on healthcare professionals to address the regulations of the most stringent area in which the company does business.

Panelist Colleen Kenney, senior manager, corporate meetings and conventions, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co., Cambridge, Mass., said her company is getting ready to roll out a meeting policy on January 1, 2011, that will mandate that all meetings come through her team. Through working with StarCite’s strategic meetings management system, they are already tracking almost twice as many meetings (400) than they were 18 months ago.

The StarCite program has been very useful in helping her team break down the spend per physician in a variety of categories. For example, they can break down travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, and track food by the type of meal. It’s critical that the process is aligned with the disclosure categories and requirements laid out in the Sunshine Act.

Kenney also said it’s important to educate both internal clients as well as vendors on all policies and regulations and to explain why it is so important to be in compliance. She meets once a week with her internal team and twice a month with vendors to go over where they are and where they need to be in terms of tracking and reporting HCP spend.

Go to StarCite’s Web site for more details or a replay of the webinar.

For more information on how to create a strategic meetings management plan that will help you comply with existing and upcoming HCP reporting requirements, see our new SMMP Portal, which includes a breakdown of available SMMP technology.

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