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44% of U.S. Prescriptions Submitted Electronically in 2012

iHealthBeat, May 8, 2013

BEI Commentary: Surescripts recently issued their annual report on eprescribing.  Adoption is increasing year over year, and nearly half of all prescriptions are now transmitted electronically.  The report has all types of interesting information, including prescribing rate by practice size, specialty and geographic area. Note that there is also a link in the article to the complete report.

Slightly less than half of all U.S. prescriptions were submitted electronically in 2012, according to a new report from electronic prescribing network Surescripts, FierceEMR reports.

Key Findings

The report found that about 44% of all prescriptions were submitted electronically by the end of 2012, up from 36% by the end of 2011. The total number of electronic prescriptions submitted increased from 570 million in 2011 to 788 million in 2012. Read More

New Opportunities to Avoid ePrescribing Penalty for 2013

EMR & HIPAA Newsletter, November 5, 2011

According to the 2013 Medicare Final Rule released last week, there are new ways to avoid future payment adjustments under the MIPPA ePrescribing rule for those who have not already taken the necessary steps to avoid them: 1) The exemption request period has been reopened and 2) meaningful use will satisfy the ePrescribing requirements according to specific timetables.

1) CMS is offering a second chance to physicians who missed the June 30 deadline for requesting an exemption to the 2013 ePrescribing penalty (1.5%) under the original 4 categories. Between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, physicians can go to the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page and request an exemption based on one of the following justifications: Read More

Alignment of e-prescribing incentive programs a step in the right direction

Fierce EMR, July 11, 2012

BEI Commentary: Three CMS programs (PQRS, Meaningful Use and e-prescribing/MIPPA) can all involve the use of EHRs.  If physicians participate in Meaningful Use, they should not have to worry about the others.  Unfortunately, CMS did not initially harmonize these programs.  Now that effort is taking place – if you qualify for Meaningful Use, you also satisfy your e-prescribing/MIPPA requirements.

Well, it isn’t perfect, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed 2013 fee schedule–set to be published in the Federal Register July 30–does provide some relief for physicians trying to avoid the penalties in the electronic-prescribing (eRx) incentive program by creating two additional hardship exemptions for prescribers also participating in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs. Read More

Surescripts Report: E-Prescriptions Grow Increasingly Common

Pharmacy Times, May 3, 2012

BEI Commentary: Surescripts came out with their 2011 annual report on eprescribing. There is some interesting data:

  • Over half of office based physicians now use e-prescribing, taking this technology mainstream.
  • Over 570 million scripts were sent electronically in 2011, or 36 % of all prescriptions. This represented 75% increase in just one year
  • First fill adherence increased by 10% for medications prescribed electronically – representing huge potential savings because of avoided costs in the future
  • Smaller practices lead the way in E-prescribing adoptions.

More physicians are issuing prescriptions electronically, according to the Surescripts National Progress Report for 2011, released on May 3, 2012.

In 2011, 317,000 office-based physicians used e-prescribing software to issue medication notes, according to the report. The report estimates that 570 million prescriptions were sent to pharmacies electronically in 2011, an increase of 75% over the 362 million e-prescriptions in 2010. Read More

ePrescribing in 2012: Keep On G-Coding – Meaningful Use Monday

EMR and HIPAA, January 23. 2012

BEI Commentary: E-Prescribing G-codes have not gone away.  Make sure you don’t forget about them!

Many physicians will be pursuing EHR incentives in 2012. Because meaningful use is not dependent upon G-codes, providers have been asking whether they need to continue putting “G-8553” on Medicare claims. The answer is YES—keep on G-Coding! 

Even though physicians who receive a Medicare EHR incentive are ineligible for an ePrescribing (MIPPA) incentive, they are still subject to future ePrescribing penalties. These penalties can be avoided by ePrescribing in 2012:

  • Prevent the 2013 (1.5%) penalty – CMS is giving providers a second chance. If you failed to ePrescribe on the minimum 25 Medicare encounters in 2011, (which would have already protected you from the 2013 penalty), report G-8553 10 times between January 1 and June 30, 2012 on any Medicare claims. These claims don’t even have to be for the specified CPT “denominator” codes.
  • Prevent the 2014 (2%) penalty – Report the G-code 25 times between January 1 and December 31, 2012. These claims must be associated with the specified CPT codes (typically E&M visits). Read More

Study: E-Scripts Improve Medication Adherence

Health Data Management

BEI Commentary: A recent study shows that eprescribing has a higher patient fill rate because more information, such as copay amount, is available to patients and physicians at the point of care.

A study of de-identified pharmacy data finds patient-first-fill medication adherence–the number of times a patient actually fills a new prescription–increases by 10 percent when the prescription is electronic.

E-prescribing network vendor SureScripts conducted the study with pharmacies and pharmacy benefit management firms. A 2010 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that up to 28 percent of paper prescriptions are not brought to the pharmacy. Other times, patients are unprepared for the amount of their co-pay when they fill the prescription and abandon the prescription at the pharmacy, meaning they elect not to buy it, according to a 2010 study in the Annuals of Internal Medicine. That study showed patients with a co-pay of $40 to $50 were 3.4 times more likely to abandon the prescription; 4.68 times more likely if the co-pay was more than $50. Read More

Many Pills, Many Not Taken

Wall Street Journal Online, October 10, 2011

BEI Commentary: This article highlights one of the benefits of EHRs and eprescribing, namely the ability to track patient compliance with medications.  Non-compliance hurts patients and increases costs.  By using technology, compliance can be increased, which is a good thing.

When it comes to medicine, as many as half of Americans don’t stick to their regimens. They fail to fill about 20% to 30% of prescriptions written by doctors, don’t take drugs as directed, and don’t refill medications when they run out.

Now, health-care providers have new strategies to increase medication adherence, as concerns rise about health risks and the high costs of treating noncompliant patients who have chronic illnesses. Read More

Electronic Prescribing (e-Rx)

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery,  September 30, 2011

BEI Commentary: Remember, the EHR incentive program and the e-prescribing (e-Rx) programs are related but distinct.  Final rules on the 2011 e-prescribing program have come out.  Of note is the fact that if  you are registered for the EHR incentive program you can claim a waiver to the e-prescribing requirements.  If you have not met the e-Rx requirements, or if you do not successfully claim a waiver, you are subject to Medicare adjustments.  You have until November 1, 2011 to submit an exemption.

Electronic prescribing, also known as e-prescribing or “e-Rx,” is a prescriber’s ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free and understandable prescription directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care. Erx technologies are often part of an EMR system, but they can also be purchased as a stand-alone system, therefore, you do not need to have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to e-prescribe. Many times you can download e-prescribing programs from the internet right to your desktop. In most cases, certified EMRs have the same level of functionality when it comes to sending paperless drug orders. Read More

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