Ever-evolving government regulations present major challenges for most organizations. Local, state, national and international tax laws vary widely in scope, and changes in the requirements often trigger industry-wide repercussions. The healthcare and medical device industry, for example, is scrambling to prepare for demanding new reporting requirements under the National Physician Payment Transparency Program: Open Payments (formerly referred to as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act).

An effective expense policy is the starting point for managing these challenges more effectively, setting the stage for risk- and penalty-avoidance through compliance. Expense management software like Chrome River EXPENSE can help organizations adapt as deadlines approach that will affect doctors, drug manufacturers and medical device firms. According to an article on the MedCity Newsletter website, device manufacturers must begin collecting compliance data on August 1, 2013, and report it by March 13, 2014. 

To meet these deadlines, medical device companies need to quickly develop a system for tracking and reporting the required data. Here are three tips for getting started.

  1. Review the existing data management system. Determine its strengths and weaknesses for the type of data your organization will need to record, track and report.
     
  2. Establish which new resources you require. To meet the new Open Payments requirements, you may need to upgrade your expense management software, strengthen your IT infrastructure and/or hire new employees.
     
  3. Assign key staff members to manage this new reporting initiative. The article suggests registering individuals as contacts for submitting reports and related communications. If you use an expense management system that is set up to record, track and report the required data, the system will do the work for you.

With Open Payments, any business that might be affected should consult the text of the act and obtain appropriate legal and financial advice. Once you’ve achieved a clear picture of your organization’s obligations, expense report software can dramatically lessen the burden of compliance by automating and enforcing much of the reporting process. For example, Chrome River EXPENSE allows you to search the government database of healthcare providers when adding guests to meal and entertainment expenses so that you have an exact name match for regulatory purposes.

For many organizations and industries, changing regulations are one of the many challenges of doing business. By implementing an automated expense management solution, your company is better prepared to keep costs and stress levels low as you adapt to inevitable changes.

We’d love to learn from your experiences. What advice would you offer for weathering a stormy regulatory environment? Join the conversation below!

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