July 13, 2016

Anyone in the Life Sciences industry who’s been involved in customer management for promotional and non-promotional events recognizes the challenges associated with maintaining the integrity of a customer master and consistent reporting of unique Health Care Practitioner (HCP) customers. Both can be impacted by the process by which a company decides to address the scenario where attendee sign-in is required for a given event and a qualified, unknown person attends the event. The host has one of two options, as directed by company policy, to formally close out the event. The host may either add a write-in profile and close out the event without having matched the attendee to an existing customer master record or first request to have the attendee mastered in the company database through a separate process and then match the attendee to the newly mastered record as a prerequisite for closeout. All AHM customers at some point have encountered the dilemma of identifying the best approach and some continue to question their established policies.
A company’s decision as to the selected approach is typically influenced by Legal & Compliance, Sales & Marketing and Information Technology (IT). Legal & Compliance want to ensure adherence to Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) and State reporting requirements and restrictions whereas Sales & Marketing have a primary focus on accurately capturing customer attendee reach with a desire to enhance the field-force “user experience”. IT’s attention tends to fall on data integrity maintenance with a penchant for fewer systems and standard processes. All these stakeholders play some part in company policy with respect to event closeout and the acceptance or prohibition of write-ins. There are pros and cons to both options which makes the decision challenging. Let’s take the case of companies that allow write-ins. In this scenario, the onus to match an unexpected, qualified attendee to a customer master is not placed on the hosting sales representative; the host may better concentrate on the quality execution of the event. The effort to add or match a write-in to the customer master lies with the back-end support process. Potential risks to this approach with varying likelihood include creating duplicate profiles if a profile merge process is not in place, incomplete write-in details from the event host which may lead to inability to match or add as a new profile and fragmented transparency spend information as it relates to the PPSA. Alternatively, companies can prohibit write-ins and require event hosts to match the attendee to a customer master record during closeout. In this situation, the administrative effort remains with the host since the process typically involves an initial request by the host to have the profile mastered through a separate company system. Possible risks include diminished host “user-experience”, the opportunity costs tied to the seemingly burdensome process, untimely closeout of events and potential delays in PPSA attendee reporting or speaker payments.
Irrespective of the selected approach, compliant HCP interactions are the unifying goal with which all stakeholder-desired outcomes may be achieved. AHM best practices lie with implementing sound processes to manage compliant HCP interactions and are not necessarily tied to the decision itself to allow or not allow write-ins. Each client’s preferred and sometimes unique approach can be accommodated by applying “best in class” approaches, and AHM’s CentrisDirect suite of solutions and corresponding services are vehicles to achieve key outcomes: Compliant Events, Improved Data Integrity, Increased Reporting Accuracy and Reduced Costs & Stress.

Contributed by:

Nelson Pinguelo, Sr. Acct Director, Account Management, AHM

Collaborating with Life Science companies for 16 years, Nelson has provided account management and service delivery excellence with improved customer satisfaction for Sales, Marketing, Clinical and Regulatory solutions. During his career, he received significant training on PDMA, cGMP and HIPAA regulations, and worked directly with the DEA and AMA. Nelson has been with AHM since 2010 in support of Speaker & Event Logistics and KOL Management solutions, and he currently is a Senior Account Director for a key account.