by Leo Jakobson | June 13, 2016
Pat Schaumann, who has taken a leading role in helping the meetings and events industry prepare for and manage the complex and high-stakes Physician Open Payments Act regulations, has joined St. Louis-based Maritz Travel as senior compliance director. 

The Open Payments law requires strict and extensive reporting of any "transfer of value" of more than $10 given to physicians and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical, medical, and life sciences companies -- including room, travel, and dining expenses at meetings and conventions, speaking fees, and even marketing materials. It is strict enough that most of these firms do not even give out educational materials on flash drives in order to avoid any challenges. 

"Compliance with new regulations...creates challenges in the healthcare industry," said Steve O'Malley, division president of Maritz Travel, a leading meetings and events firms. "This adds complexity in business processes for our clients -- so we're taking steps to alleviate the pain they are feeling."

Specifically, the company is "developing solutions that streamline event reporting processes, freeing up clients to focus on their core business," Maritz said in a statement. 

Schaumann has been well out in front of the industry on this issue for years -- back since the regulations were known as the Sunshine Act, in fact. She founded the meetings industry's first healthcare industry-specific association and professional certification the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC), which was acquired by Meetings Professionals International (MPI) in June 2014. 

Schaumann at that time joined MPI, where she is currently director of professional development, healthcare sector, MPI Academy, as well as director of MPI MD, a community for healthcare meeting professionals. Along with the certificate, MPI also offers a healthcare sub-specialization for its Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) professional certification, the CMP-Healthcare 

"I'm honored to join the Maritz Travel team -- especially as the company works to bring new solutions to navigate HCP event compliance to its impressive base of clients," said Schauman, who holds the CMP, CSEP, DMCP, and HMCC industry certifications. 

She is also the author of many books on healthcare compliance, including Breaking the Code to Healthcare Compliance. She has been included on Successful Meetings' list of the "25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" four times.