Tag: patient travel reimbursement

31 Jul 2019

Stipends in Clinical Trials: 4 Reasons Why You Need a Secure Payment System

An important part of any research participant’s participation in a clinical trial is knowing that they will receive their stipend payments for the time and contributions that they invest in a study. The truth of the matter is that no matter the amount, it’s important to make sure patients get paid in a timely manner.  Timely stipend payments help to increase subject compliance, and ultimately, improve study timelines and outcomes.

Making the decision to move to an electronic stipend payment system can provide many benefits, not just to the study participants, but for the site as well. Here are four things to consider when evaluating the benefits of moving to an electronic stipend payment system.

1. Reduced Costs and Improved Security

Initially, the transition to an electronic stipend system may seem more costly and more difficult to manage, but the reality is that the time-savings to staff and the built-in accountability that these systems provide save money and help to ensure greater transparency and security.  Some questions you want consider when looking at a stipend payment system are:

  • Does it integrate with your current CTMS?
  • Is it secure, and how does it prevent fraud?
  • Is it user-friendly and patient-friendly?
  • What are the reporting options?

Each one of these above questions will help you make the right decision and provide a better experience for site bookkeepers and staff as well as the clinical trial participants.

2. Streamlined Payment Processes

When your payment system is integrated with your CTMS, you don’t spend time writing checks, chasing the check signor down for signatures, distributing to staff and/or patients, dealing with lost checks, canceled checks, re-issuing checks, check fraud, etc. You will also have access to real-time stipend account balances and low account balance alerts.  Site staff, such as clinical research coordinators, can easily load the patient’s stipend card with a click of a button as soon as the visit is complete and the patient will leave with a smile on their face, probably looking forward to their next visit.

3. Track Financials

Tracking stipend payments is easier with a CTMS-integrated stipend payment solution.  Many sites are still trying to pay stipends with cash, leading to numerous challenges with tracking and the potential for theft/fraud.  Checks come with their own security risks as well as more time to process.  Electronic stipend payment system tracking is simple and funds distributions are quick and secure.  1099 reporting at year’s end can also be completed in a snap as patient stipends are tracked across any and all studies that a patient has participated in.  Aggregate reporting is available for study-level and site-level accruals as well.

4. Customer Service

Your business is solely dependent on volunteer participation. Every improvement that you make in a patient’s experience provides a boost in your site’s bottom line.  When you have a streamlined stipend payment system, patients get paid faster, have quicker access to their funds for purchases, and have customer support standing by to assist with any issues they may have with their funds or stipend cards. The positive effects of happy, satisfied patients have short and long-term benefits that will help your site be successful, long-term.


At RealTime, we proudly offer superior, state of the art cloud-based software solutions for the clinical research industry. Our streamlined SitePAY solution benefits include some of the following:

  • Secure- RealTime’s privilege-based system allows you to limit or extend PAY privileges to your staff, as needed.
  • Easy Accounting- Funds are immediately off your books, and pre-set stipends can be loaded to PAYcards by multiple designated staff.
  • Branded PAYcards- Customized branded PAYcards allow you to promote your site with a “billboard in the wallet!”
  • Improved Subject Experience- Patients can receive a text or email when funds are loaded onto their PAYcard. Funds are available immediately, and can be viewed, managed, and transferred to their bank account through the PAYcard portal. The RealTime-PAY portal has both desktop and mobile capabilities.

If you are interested in learning more about RealTime-SitePAY, or any other RealTime solution, call us today at (210) 852-4310, or click HERE!

01 Mar 2018

Stipend programs should be easy…

Fast, simple and secure patient reimbursement/stipend programs are extremely important to keep your trials running smoothly and to keep your patients happy and engaged. However, most of the stipend programs out there seem to create more problems than solutions. Asking the right questions might help you determine the right vendor to chose when you are assessing payment platform capabilities.

Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before adopting a new payment platform:

1. Is this program user-friendly, fast and hosted in a secure environment?
Coordinators are tasked with many responsibilities each day when carrying out clinical trials tasks.  Often, coordinators are required to log into multiple platforms to manage various aspects of the trial.  Adding another platform to their list can be daunting for them. That’s why adopting a user-friendly platform is important. Not only for the site user, but for the sponsor, and patient. The platform of your choosing must ensure that all the sensitive information is safe and is delivered in a timely manner.

2. Is the platform accessible to patients, sponsors and sites?
The platform should have the ability to give access to different entities to improve collaboration and reduce time-consuming exchanges. Additionally, it should have the capability to host unlimited users, both at the site level and administrative level.

3. Can I manage multiple studies across multiple sites with this platform?
The platform should have the ability to manage multiple sites and studies at an enterprise level. This will allow you to stay in one platform to manage and reimburse all your patients when needed.

4. Does this platform use direct deposit or a stipend card?
Direct deposit and stipend cards are the best way to ensure security for your site and sponsor. Using paper checks can be costly, slow to reach the patient, and can increase the chance of fraud on the issuing bank account.

5.Will using a card program help me brand my site or study?
You want study participants to remember your site or study. Branded cards can help your study stay top-of-mind. Each time the study patient uses their study card they will remember the importance of the study they are involved in. Branded cards will increase recognition and may even incentivize current participants to share their experience with their friends and family.

If you are looking for a new patient reimbursement or stipend program, give us a call! Our team of experts would be happy to schedule a demo and answer all your questions.