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National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative Supports Medicare Proposal to Adopt Additional Standards for ePrescribing

Saturday, November 17, 2007 General News J E 4
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CHICAGO, Nov. 16 Allscripts, the leadingprovider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions thatphysicians use to improve healthcare, on behalf of the National ePrescribingPatient Safety Initiative (NEPSI(TM)), strongly supports the Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal for the adoption of additionalstandards to be used by participants in the Medicare prescription drug benefitprogram when they prescribe electronically. The proposed new standards wouldhelp eliminate medication errors and the inefficiencies of a process thatrelies on handwritten paper prescriptions.

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If the CMS standards are adopted after a public review period, physicianswho prescribe electronically for Medicare patients would be required to havesecure access to their patient's medication history, information about theirdrug coverage, standard patient instructions for taking medications, and aclinical drug nomenclature with standard names for medications. Physicianswho know what medications their patients are taking and what drugs theirinsurance plan covers can prevent unhealthy drug interactions, and help theirpatients make sound financial choices regarding co-pays and genericmedications.

"By further developing the standards for electronic prescribing, CMS haspassed another important milestone in the government's plan to encourage theadoption of electronic health records and build an interconnected healthcaresystem in the United States," said NEPSI Co-Chair and Allscripts ChiefExecutive Officer Glen Tullman. "The new standards ensure that physicianshave all the information they need to provide improved care at lower cost.NEPSI supports the proposed technical standards and urges their rapidimplementation."

NEPSI is a coalition of the nation's leading healthcare and technologycompanies that is dedicated to eliminating preventable medication errors byproviding free electronic prescribing technology to every physician inAmerica. NEPSI is led by Allscripts and national sponsor Dell Computers, theworld's leading computer company. Other companies sponsoring NEPSI are Aetna,Cisco Systems, eRx Networks, Fujitsu Computers of America, Google -- thecoalition's Search Sponsor -- Horizon BCBS of New Jersey, Microsoft,NaviMedix, Quest Diagnostics, Sprint Nextel, SureScripts, Wellpoint, andWolters Kluwer Health.

The coalition's web-based software, eRx NOW(TM), supports the standardsproposed by CMS and is used today by more than 5,000 physicians who havesigned on since NEPSI's launch in January 2007. Designed to appeal tophysicians in solo practice or small groups, eRx NOW is available free to anyhealthcare provider with legal authority to prescribe medications, andrequires no download, no new hardware, and minimal training. The product canquickly generate secure electronic prescriptions and deliver themcomputer-to-computer or via electronic fax to more than 95 percent of all U.S.pharmacies via SureScripts. All prescriptions are instantly checked forpotentially harmful interactions with a patient's other medications using areal-time complete medication database provided by Wolters Kluwer Health, aswell as real-time notification of insurance formulary status from leadingpayers, plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Clinicians also can use eRx NOWto search and find targeted health-related information for themselves orpatients using the NEPSI Custom Search Engine from Google.

In its drive to extend ePrescribing to every physician in America, NEPSIalso supports the efforts of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association(PCMA) to promote legislation requiring that all physicians who treat Medicarepatients prescribe electronically, and to provide annual incentives forparticipating physicians. In the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, Part Dsponsors were required to ac
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