To avoid penalties next year, start e-prescribing today

June 22, 2011

If you aren?t e-prescribing today, you?re facing a 1% cut in Medicare Part B payments next year and a 1.5% penalty in 2013?but there?s still time to squeeze in the required 10 e-scripts before June 30 if you act quickly. With days to go before the deadline, use these tips to implement what you have or choose an e-prescribing program you can start using right away.

If you aren’t e-prescribing today, you’re facing a 1% cut in Medicare Part B payments next year and a 1.5% penalty in 2013-but there’s still time to squeeze in the required 10 e-scripts before June 30 if you act quickly.

With days to go before the deadline, you need to either implement what you have or choose an e-prescribing program you can start using right away.

If have an electronic health record (EHR) system that has not yet been fully deployed, ask the vendor to do the implementation and training for the e-prescription module immediately. You will probably incur a rush charge, but that’s better than facing payment cuts in future years.

If you haven’t selected an EHR, you can still install a free, standalone e-prescription application that will allow you to act quickly and avoid the penalty. For the least hassle and the quickest setup, look for programs that are Web-based, do not commit you to ongoing charges or lock you into a specific EMR, and require no special set up on your office computers:

• Practice Fusion offers free, Web-based e-Rx capability that can be implemented immediately, without changing the workflow in your office. The e-prescribing function can be used in conjunction with the company’s free electronic health record (EHR) or separately.

• NEPSI, the National e-Prescribing Patient Safety Initiative, also offers free online prescribing in partnership with Allscripts.

• A number of EHRs offer free, 30-day test drives. If one looks appealing, start the trial with the e-prescribing module. You’ll be able to submit the 10 e-scripts you need and try out a promising system at the same time.

Remember to include the G-code G8553 with every claim for a visit that includes an e-prescription.

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