Awareness : OBC Tips

How to Avoid Double Billing

When a research site takes money for a clinical service from the sponsor, that service cannot be billed to the patient or the patient’s insurer. If it is billed, it could be viewed as a “double billing” situation. Double billing occurs when the same service is paid for by two different sources.

Double billing occurs when the same service is paid for by two different sources.

In order to manage this risk, the research site must understand what the sponsor is paying for. The budget should be clear as to what is or is not covered by the sponsor’s payment. Likewise, if the study is funded by a grant, there should be a document or an internal budget which clearly identifies what the grant is or is not paying for.

Sites should also realize that the legal portions of the clinical trial agreement can be just as important as the budget exhibit. Usually the “budget” is an exhibit to the clinical trial agreement, which makes the budget and the clinical trial agreement all one legal document. What might look like two documents is, in reality, one, and must be read and interpreted as one document.

Even if the budget information is clear, that information must be communicated to the billing process at the hospital and physician practice.