New Study Reveals Insights About Opportunities to Improve the Clinical Site Payment Process

Monday, September 11, 2017

Boston, MA – September 11, 2017 – Metrics Champion Consortium’s (MCC) Industry Practices Insight Report, “Clinical Site Payment Study: An examination of how Sponsors and CRO organizations measure site payment processes – trigger events, cycle times, performance expectations compared to actual results and site payment strategies,” looks at the site payment process from the perspective of Sponsors and CROs.

While the perspective of sites regarding the site payment process has been well researched, there has been less research looking at the perspective of Sponsors and CROs. MCC conducted this study to gain insight into what Sponsors and CROs organizations are measuring about the site payment process, how well the process is working and where there are opportunities for improvement. Some of the key findings include:

  • There are divergent views on how well the site payment process is working
  • The most common site payment “triggering events” are not automated resulting in frequent delays
  • Sponsors that outsource site payments use fewer metrics to monitor the process than other respondents

“This study adds the perspective of Sponsors and CROs to the on-going discussion about challenges with the clinical trial site payment process. Results confirm what sites have been saying for years; they are not being paid in a timely manner,” said Linda Sullivan, Co-Founder & President of MCC.

The report shows the metrics typically used by organizations to monitor the site payment process. In addition, the typical frequency of issues is described along with successful strategies used by organizations to improve the site payment process. “While most respondents acknowledged that the payment process is not being completed in a timely manner, most organizations do not objectively know, with data, how often issues occur in the site payment process,” Sullivan continued. “Measuring key aspects of the process, such as how often it fails and in what way, is an important first step to improvement.”

Sullivan added that simplifying the payment process by adopting automated payment triggers combined with improved process measurements provides the best opportunity to meet and even exceed the site requirements. By standardizing metrics in this important area, the industry will be better able to baseline, compare, manage and improve performance and ultimately increase the available pool of sites for clinical trials.

The online survey contained 11 questions that varied according to organization type selected (Sponsor – site payment outsourced; Sponsor – site payment in-house; CRO/site payment vendor). Survey responses were collected April–June 2017, and the results represent the experiences of 56 respondents from 43 distinct organizations, large and small, from across the industry. Respondents were grouped by organization type so that differences between these organization types could be examined.

More information about this report is available at MCC Industry Practices Insight Reports. To view the press release in a PDF format, click here.


About Metrics Champion Consortium (MCC)

MCC—a trusted partner in the clinical trials industry—identifies what to measure, how to assess the crucial components of what is changing and how the industry is responding to address these changes to make improvements. MCC continually brings you new insights into the leading trends within the industry. For more information about MCC metric sets and tools, metric education programs and how you can participate in MCC work groups, please visit



Linda B. Sullivan