Going The Extra Mile: Gas vs. Mileage for Reimbursements

 In Clinical Trials

As unemployment rates continue an upward trend due to the global pandemic, many Americans are looking for any way possible to cut costs and budget wisely. One thing people can’t forego is necessary medical treatment, so it’s important to find ways to keep the cost of traveling to and from appointments as low as possible. Particularly when it comes to clinical trials, patients will travel hundreds of miles – racking up high gas costs and adding wear and tear to their vehicle.

A patient recently handed me five pages of gas receipts in order to obtain reimbursement. I decided to pull up their patient profile to find out why this patient was spending so much money on gas. What immediate struck me is how far they were driving from their home to the trial site – it was at least a seven-hour drive.

Based on my experience, I know that some trial sponsors allow reimbursement based on miles traveled, as opposed to gas cost alone. In this case the trial sponsor did allow mileage reimbursement, so I calculated what the patient would be reimbursed if they submitted for mileage. The patient was thrilled when I told them that the IRS mileage reimbursement formula would provide a more substantial reimbursement than their gas receipts. The patient said their car is older and in need of repair, so every little bit helps. It’s rewarding to see how going the extra mile can have such a meaningful impact on the patients who travel so many miles.

-Claudine Greiss

 

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