We reward our patients and caregivers at the rate of $100 per hour for taking part in surveys or interviews. We feel that is only fair, to honor them for their time and attention. And that’s what we invoice our clients as well. We hear that some recruiters invoice at one rate and then try to pay the patients less, pocketing the difference, raising the honoraria midstream as necessary if they can’t find all the completes they need.
We don’t do that. First, that sounds like cheating to us – charging for a service and delivering less. Second, we would get caught! Don’t you think a moderator might mention the amount – if it didn’t match, that would cause a stir. And third, if the honoraria amount is raised mid-stream, everyone, even those who have already completed, need to be paid the same amount. Again, it’s an issue of fairness. And guess what? Patients in rare patient communities talk. The word gets out. “Hey, that study you did for $50, they gave me $100!” You don’t think that will cause a ruckus? We want to avoid that.
Since we are paying them the gold, we figure, let’s follow the golden rule – treat others as you want to be treated. Isn’t that just a good business practice anyway? At least for those of us who are in it for the long term.