Monday, October 27, 2008

More Medicare Nonsense

 

CMS in it's infinite wisdon has declared war on those of you who are recalcitrant to adopt eRx. AmedNews reports this morning that since the  ''carrot" didn't work as fast as they wanted it to, and eRx adoption is lagging they would up the stakes.

With electronic prescribing still far off the radar screen for many physicians just weeks before new Medicare e-prescribing incentives kick in, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hosted an event here in October to jump-start an all-out push for widespread adoption of the technology.

(Most of the attendees were vendors, administrators, and a few physicians who have already adopted eRx (1400 attended).

 

Only about 2% of eligible prescriptions nationwide in 2007 were ordered electronically. While physicians in some states used the technology more extensively, few states broke the 3% mark when it came to paperless drug orders.

Prescriptions sent electronically

Massachusetts
13.43%

Rhode Island
9.05%

Nevada
7.06%

Delaware
4.21%

Michigan
4.20%

Maryland
3.17%

North Carolina
3.07%

Arizona
2.89%

Connecticut
2.57%

Washington
2.57%

New Jersey
2.51%

Pennsylvania
2.46%

Ohio
2.46%

New Hampshire
2.34%

Source: RxHub, National ePrescribing Conference, October. RxHub is owned by SureScripts.

Back to top.


The power of incentives

In Massachusetts, the number of prescriptions sent electronically surged after the state's Blue Cross Blue Shield plan started offering e-prescribing incentives in 2004. Medicare officials hope to see a similar boost nationwide from the bonuses they will begin offering in January.

 

Electronic prescriptions written

Q4-2003
13,039

Q1-2004
19,288

Q2-2004
51,126

Q3-2004
107,098

Q4-2004
294,272

Q1-2005
454,896

Q2-2005
599,321

Q3-2005
720,138

Q4-2005
958,569

Q1-2006
1,060,402

Q2-2006
1,095,986

Q3-2006
1,064,357

Q4-2006
1,145,295

Q1-2007
1,167,501

Q2-2007
1,156,112

Q3-2007
1,072,824

Q4-2007
1,095,237

Q1-2008
1,122,761

Q2-2008
1,036,784

Note: Incentives took effect in Q1-2004.

Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

 


Weblink

"A Clinician's Guide to Electronic Prescribing", October (www.ehealthinitiative.org/erx/clinicians.mspx)


 

In other news from AmedNews:

Caught unaware, doctors get delay in FTC enforcement of ID theft rules

 

When the FTC begins enforcing the rules, failure to comply could mean administrative penalties or up to $2,500 in fines per violation.

According to AmedNews the rules extend to

"If, on a regular basis, a physician allowed a patient to leave knowing they were not going to be paying immediately, even for a co-payment or deductible, the provider would be considered a creditor.

The AMA and other groups won a six-month reprieve for doctors to implement a prevention program originally mandated for Nov. 1.

The so-called "red flag" rules require entities that regularly extend credit, or defer payment for services, to establish a written program for preventing identity theft as well as detecting and responding to warning signs of such thefts. The commission first released the rules last November as directed by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

Until recently, physicians and health care facilities were largely unaware of the regulations, which were thought to pertain mainly to banks and other financial institutions that offer credit in the traditional sense. But in recent weeks, the FTC signaled that the rule was intended to apply more broadly, including to the health care arena.

So, have a nice day.

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