“Effective immediately, all departments are required to report total remuneration payments made to all study participants for the upcoming calendar year. Please submit year-end totals to the Provost for Research Office. This mandate is necessary to ensure institutional compliance with IRS regulations for 1099 taxable income reporting. Thank you.”
Concern ensued across the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) research faculty and staff when they received this email from the Provost for Research. Departments would need to somehow track and sum all their petty cash, Walmart and Target gift cards, VISA cards and checks issued through Accounts Payable (as there was no institutional research policy standardizing a single type of remuneration payment for clinical research participants). Additionally, MUSC lacked a consolidated database to collect this data. This new mandate presented a time-consuming task and the potential for inefficient use of study coordinator and financial staff time to track and total this data manually.
Perhaps other academic medical schools (AMCs) had identified a best practice for tracking participant remuneration? The Research and Operations Manager at MUSC, Department of Medicine sent an email to a national listserv of AMC Research Offices asking, “Does your AMC have a best practice solution for managing the IRS requirement to track annual 1099 research participant remuneration payments?”
Within the hour, a reply came from an AMC in the Northeast, “Yes, we’re using ClinCard from Greenphire. It solves this problem. I manage the program in central accounting and we (myself and research staff) love it!”