E-prescribing: Going electronic just got a little easier

April 4, 2008

The push for e-prescribing is heating up, with bills in the House and Senate that would penalize providers who don't abandon paper scripts for Medicare patients by 2011.

The push for e-prescribing is heating up, with bills in the House and Senate that would penalize providers who don't abandon paper scripts for Medicare patients by 2011. To ease the transition, five major physician groups have launched http://www.GetRxConnected.com/, which takes you through the steps you must follow to successfully switch from paper-based to e-prescribing. If you already use electronic health records, the website can tell you if your software meets Medicare Part D standards for e-prescribing; many programs generate an electronic fax and aren't truly able to transmit prescriptions directly to the pharmacy's computer. These e-faxes won't be in compliance with the Part D regulations that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009, although you'll still be able to write prescriptions by hand or fax handwritten scripts to the pharmacy until 2011.

The website also allows you to calculate estimated savings in time and resources by switching from manual to electronic prescribing. The groups behind the site are the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Medical Group Management Association.