Medical/Pharma Meetings Struggle with Changes

Medical/Pharma Meetings Struggle with Changes | HTR

As part of the Affordable Care Act, pharma meeting planners are now tasked with following the codes, policies and law associated with the Sunshine Act Open Payments Program. This massive undertaking requires planners to report intricate details about every meeting that pertains to education on new drugs and medical devices.

This is no small task as it is estimated there are over two million meetings of this kind in per year. Pfizer alone ran 276,000+ meetings in a 4-month period in 2013!

Let’s take a deeper dive into what the Sunshine act entails and how technology can help make implementation of these requirements that much easier for pharma meeting planners.

What is the Sunshine Act Open Payments Program?

Physician Payment Sunshine Act is a provision of the Affordable Care Act. By law, starting in 2014, a publicly available federal website called Open Payments  will display information about payments and other values from manufacturers to individual doctors and teaching hospitals. This website is available to the public.

When they speak of “other values”, the government is typically talking about meals or conference attendance that have a certain dollar value. As a meeting planner who has run many of these types of educational seminars, I know doctors need to submit whether or not they are going to eat and drink at the conference, and each pharmaceutical company is only allowed to spend so much per attendee.

In addition, if the company misrepresents the amount spent, there is a hefty fine that can be parlayed on the organization.

How Technology Can Help

Planners need to gather and report for each medical or pharmaceutical meeting the following attendee and speaker cost information:

  • Transportation, including reimbursed mileage
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Gifts
  • Honorariums and
  • Stipends

Currently, most meeting planners use Excel spreadsheets which can be very cumbersome and prone to errors if the data is loaded incorrectly.

A new tool launched earlier this year called My Compliance Wizard is a mobile-ready app that can be used on any device. It will give meeting professionals, compliance officers and financial teams at pharmaceutical, medical device and health-care companies’ immediate access to all the codes and limits for the items above. However, this application cannot allow you to input the data and submit it to Open Payments.

PlanningPod brings together more than two dozen event management tools in one convenient place. This mobile friendly app can be easily accessed when you rent iPads for your event and can take the place of multiple Excel spreadsheets. And while this app is not free, it’s pricing is very scalable and affordable.

Evernote is a cloud based app that allows collaboration and sharing across multiple devices. This is a perfect app for the medical/pharma industry as meetings become more complex and mistakes can be costly. The best thing about Evernote is you can write and collect ideas in notes, group notes in notebooks and easily find everything through its search parameter. While the basic function is free, the upgraded functions offer more scalability and function.

Hartford Technology Rental Is Your Medical/Pharma Meeting Provider

Are you ready to rent a computer for your next meeting? Give Hartford Technology Rental a call today at 888-520-5667 or request a quote online. We are here to help -- 24/7 -- with all your technology needs!