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Maritz Wades Deep into Medical Meeting Waters

Maritz Wades Deep into Medical Meeting Waters

New tech and staff to simplify medical meetings compliance and reporting

Maritz Travel is ratcheting up its services for medical meeting planners who face the challenge of holding healthcare provider meetings that are compliant with U.S. Open Payments regulations (as well as Europe’s EFPIA Code), and tracking and reporting that HCP spend.

The new Maritz Travel Healthcare Solutions, launched in October, includes a number of components. Some of the services have been available to clients for a while, but “never tied together in an automated fashion,” said Maritz Travel President Steve O’Malley during an interview at IMEX America, where the company introduced the program.

The four existing technologies now tied together under Maritz Travel Healthcare Solutions include:

Polaris, an aggregate spend reporting tool that allows groups to capture and report every piece of information and spend that relate to HCP payments or transfers of value
LectureLinx, which manages contracting for healthcare professionals who speak at HCP events to make sure the relationships are compliant
Cvent, which has meeting planning tools as well as the On Arrival technology that Maritz uses for onsite session attendance verification
Certify, an automated expense reporting software

For O’Malley, the beauty of the new solution is that it streamlines the complexities of hosting a meeting in the heavily regulated medical market. “It allows even a medium-sized manufacturer of pharmaceuticals or medical devices to basically plug into the solution that we built,” he said. “They don’t have to build it themselves and develop all those relationships.” The per-meeting pricing is inclusive of everything required for a compliant event—planning, technology, reporting, reimbursements, etc.—but companies can substitute their own providers if they already have relationships established.

The program is run by Pat Schaumann, who joined Maritz as senior director of healthcare compliance in June. Schaumann was among the people who developed the Healthcare Meetings Compliance Certificate Program in 2013, which was acquired by Meeting Professionals International. She became MPI’s director of professional development–healthcare sector in 2014, taking about 1,000 individuals through the training.

It was Maritz’s commitment to training that was among the things that convinced her to join the company. “Maritz is taking a step that no one has. They’re internally certifying the various teams, including the onsite tour directors. That is so impressive to me.” Travel directors, she explained, need to understand the rules when, for example, physicians arrive on site with their spouse or their assistant for a meal that’s not allowable, and they need to speak with the physicians in a way that avoids confrontation. “A typical TD wouldn’t know how to handle these things,” Schaumann said.

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