February 13, 2020  

The duration of HCP engagements varies depending on the type of activity and size of program. And in many cases, this means that overnight lodging needs to be provided for contracted doctors.

Finding a selection of hotels is a straightforward process made easier with the use of technology but choosing the right hotel that meets compliance and HCP relationship requirements can prove challenging. A hotel’s star rating—or its level of quality—certainly influences an organizing party’s final decision.

Doctors hired for events expect a certain level of accommodation, so that they can provide their full range of knowledge and skill. Below par accommodations hinder an HCP’s ability to relax and reduce the quality of service for which they were contracted. Additionally, providing an inadequate level of hotel may hurt an organizing party’s chances of enlisting equal or higher-level thought leaders in the future.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a hotel with too many stars causes concerns for compliance and legal departments. Putting a doctor up in a luxury hotel for the purposes of an engagement could be considered over the limit and in risk of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute along with other anti-bribery laws. Selecting an overly affluent hotel raises even more concern in metropolitan areas because there is a greater selection of alternatives to choose from.

What is an acceptable star level of hotel?

According to one report included in Cutting Edge Information’s Compliance Companion, it’s actually a standard industry practice to book a four-star equivalent room for contracted HCPs. More than 75% of surveyed company teams choose this level of hotel when providing accommodations.

Relevant sources consider features such as large rooms, concierge service, high-scale bath amenities and recreation facilities standard at four-star hotels. Star increments are subject to variation, though. For instance, many hotels advertised as four stars provide services which are often associated with five-star locations. Research into local classifications and standards can pay dividends in finding the right hotel for a multi-day engagement.

Questions regarding pressing compliance concerns? Click here to contact Cutting Edge Information.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd Middleton is a senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. In this position, he provides qualitative FMV information for in-house and external use to ensure compliant HCP engagements. As an analyst, Mr. Middleton affirms that accurate data, in combination with topical research, can ensure successful life science company compliance. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston.

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