Should You Buy or Build Your Aggregate Spend and Transparency Reporting Solution?

Whether to buy or build your aggregate spend and transparency reporting system is a question with which many life science CIOs grapple. Compliance and Finance Officers also grapple with this question because they are responsible for aggregating and accurately reporting spend data annually, not to mention that more than 44 jurisdictions around the world now have transparency reporting laws. The life science industry is in a transition. The digital disruption has begun, and life science companies are entering a transformational cycle. Digital disruption “represents the most significant threat and opportunities any of us have faced in business,” said Pierre Nanterme, chairman and CEO of Accenture. For life science CIOs, now is the time to seek guidance from experts and peers on the buy versus build philosophy, especially when it comes to aggregate spend and transparency reporting solutions.

What You Need to Know Now

A review of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Life Sciences 2018 report is a first step to gain knowledge on the latest technology and solutions for global aggregate spend and transparency reporting. Recently, Gartner recommended investing in the latest technology to ensure having a global compliance system of record to gather downstream data. In fact, MediSpend is among the suggested monitoring solutions for aggregate spending and transparency reporting in the report. The “Packaged Solutions space” was created by MediSpend in 2011 with the introduction of the first SaaS solution with 24/7/365 customer success support. Gartner argues in favor of investing in SaaS solutions for a number of reasons, including the following aggregate spend and transparency reporting challenges.

Hard to Track Every Law in Every Jurisdiction

“The applicability of these solutions is now global, but regulations for reporting gift or payment limitations vary by geography, which makes a single, flexible solution necessary,” according to Hype Cycle for Life Sciences 2018.

First, the United States and France enacted aggregate spend laws, Open Payments, a.k.a. The Sunshine Act and Loi Bertrand, respectively back in 2010. Now, new city, state, federal, and global regulations are pushing more than 44 jurisdictions around the world. Changes to laws are happening continuously and many countries, such as South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia, just to name a few, are enacting laws as of this writing. It is hard to keep track of the laws and even harder to keep home grown, or consultant-built systems current unless you have an entire department focusing solely on the legislative landscape. This is inefficient and expensive, so outsourcing or investing in a SaaS solution is the smart alternative.

Everything’s Happening So Fast

The push among countries to pass legislation to regulate exchanges of value between life science companies and health care providers and health care organizations, also known as health care entities (HCEs) is happening at warp speed. As a result, CIOs must look to the future and strategically plan to replace homegrown systems because the cost to keep them functioning is three to five times the cost of current SaaS solutions such as MediSpend. An end-to-end aggregate spend and transparency solution, such as MediSpend, is constantly updated and improved to reflect both changes in legislation and advances in technology. Besides the upgrades, it can be optimized to meet each company’s business process workflows, with no monthly or annual maintenance fees like Polaris and Porzio’s custom-built solutions. Clearly, the trend to move to true SaaS solutions such as MediSpend will continue and probably at an even quicker pace.

Makes Good Business Sense

“CIOs must align the IT enterprise approach, and plan for emerging technologies, with the company's chosen role in an overall digital healthcare ecosystem,” according to Hype Cycle.

Today, CIOs must balance significant cost pressures to support their business stakeholders while managing uncertain regulatory changes as well as the accompanying business process change management. CIOs can rely on Gartner’s experts to summarize the technology trends to manage data in the age of digital disruption. Building a good compliance program to ensure life science companies have industry standard technology in tandem with a good compliance strategy means minimizing risk and thus creating value.

The 2018 Hype Cycle for Life Sciences report is specific about the steps companies must take to properly track and report relevant payments and transfers of value.

“We recommend that companies connect an aggregate-spending solution to an existing CRM tool — since that is the best control point — in concert with many physician-centric activities,” according to the report. “Then, they can choose and evaluate the back end that best fits their interpretation of and compliance approach to aggregate-spending laws. There are several solution options available that match typical requirements for tracking spend and delivering required reports. We do not recommend building an internal solution.” Again, MediSpend is a “buy-not-build” solution with full configurable SaaS integration with Concur, Salesforce, and Veeva as is now the industry standard solution.

Recommended Reading

Michaeline Daboul

CEO, Co-founder of MMIS, Inc.

Posted on Sep 18, 2018 5:09:13 PM

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