Best Practices: The Benefits of Integrating Expense Management and Customer Relationship ManagementAlthough various states across the U.S. have administered a form of what is known as “Sunshine Laws” for over two decades, the first national provision goes into effect for the 2012 calendar year. For physicians, this means a new level of transparency in their relationships with vendors. For pharmaceutical companies, medical device, biological and medical supply manufacturers, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act introduces a new set of expense reporting and regulations standards.
Some research indicates that many within the industry are still unaware of how the Physicians Payments Sunshine Act impacts their work, while others dread the additional work it will create. By most accounts, the new act requires pharma and medical companies to keep detailed records of any and all expenses for meetings with individual healthcare professionals as well as organizations.
The key to successful expense compliance is to make the process ‘invisible’ for the user, and to do this we here at StayinFront apply the following principles:
- Software should make the user more efficient at what they do – and each person should use the tool best designed for the job at hand. This means that an expense management system like Concur should be used for expense entry and management while a CRM like StayinFront EdgeRx and TouchRx should be used for healthcare professional (HCP) information management.
- All data about HCP’s should be collected in the CRM to ensure that the user has a complete view of the customer.
- The data the user sees should be identical across all systems being used – so the doctor’s name, address and other details must be the same in their CRM and expense management systems.
- Expenses should be entered only once, and into only one system.
The best way to achieve successful expense compliance is to integrate our CRM solution tightly with an expense management system, and the one most of our clients use, and the leader in the market, is Concur.
We worked closely with the Concur Connects team to design 4 interface points between the StayinFront EdgeRx and Concur systems, using the Concur Connects web services, and the StayinFront Integration Manager. These interface points can be used individually or in combination to meet specific client business requirements.
The first interface is a direct nightly load of HCP information from StayinFront to Concur. This load passes all new, updated and deleted information to Concur, and ensures that Concur has a complete and current list of HCPs.
Benefit: Users entering expenses for a specific HCP see the exact same data that they see in their CRM system.
The second interface is a direct lookup from Concur to EdgeRx to find a specific HCP record. This real time lookup connects the EdgeRx system to the Web to locate an HCP record.
Benefit: Users can get the most up to date data – so an HCP entered into CRM is instantly available to the user to enter expenses against.
Event creation: When an event (such as a lunch and learn) is created in EdgeRx or TouchRx, that event is passed directly through to Concur with the attendee information attached.
Benefit: a user entering expenses for an event already has the event details, and since the attendees entered in their expense records, the company just needs to confirm which HCP’s attended and track the expense amounts. It can’t be any easier than that!
Finally, StayinFront uses the Concur Connects web service to pull back expense data related to HCP’s and attaches those expenses to the HCP in EdgeRx.
Benefit: EdgeRx and TouchRx have a complete picture of the HCP, and users can analyze the full impact of activity and results for each interaction.
These interfaces are designed to help customers save time, increase precision, and improve compliance.
Together, the StayinFront LifeSciences CRM and Concur’s Travel and Expense System adapt to the needs of the individual company through multi-faceted data integration. This means keeping up-to-date records on interactions with healthcare professionals and related expense reporting. Together, StayinFront and Concur offer a best practices approach to staying compliant for everything under the Sunshine Act.