Those are important considerations in adopting improved, comprehensive compliance technologies, but there are others. For
example, though it was intended primarily to assist in Medicare/Medicaid issues, Model N's product can also contribute to
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance: "It allows companies to get their arms around the revenue lifecycle, which extends beyond the government
regulatory application to managing pricing contracts, rebates, and charge-backs and looking at a reproducible, auditable record
of what has been done in terms of managing their overall revenue," Zocchi says.
In the long run, though, once compliance has been achieved, the ability to analyze government pricing in depth will become
a valuable business capability. "These resources can be used much more productively in terms of looking at the implications
of government business and of policies that I apply," Zocchi says. "What will the impact be to my business if I increase my
government business? Or what's going to happen when Medicare comes along? The technology becomes a tool that can be much more
productive in managing the businesses going forward."
Companies still have a long way to go in adapting technology, says Life Science Insights' Hanover. "I still see companies
where everything is done on paper in files, with handwritten signatures. There's a lot more work to be done. I hear estimates
from CIOs that as high as 20 percent of their budgets go for compliance—so there's a lot of opportunity for cost savings.
But you have to apply sensible business practices to it. There are lots of ways to interpret some of the guidelines, and in
some cases, companies have almost gone too far."
Most companies have already had the experience of adopting ERP systems—big implementation projects that in the long run were
worth the effort. "In the end, when they were working well, they really did produce some value, and save a lot of effort,
and help drive down supply-chain costs," Hanover says. "I think they're going to see the same things from systems that enable
compliance, if they give them a chance."