Electronic Prescribing

Overview

The ability to electronically transmit error-free prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from the point of care is an important step in providing safe, high-quality health care. In 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program to accelerate electronic prescription use by Medicare-enrolled physicians.

In 2013, incentive payments of 0.5% of Medicare Part B fee-for-service charges will be available to physicians who successfully meet the program’s requirements. Conversely, those doctors who are unable to successfully transmit Part B enrollee prescriptions or decline to participate in the program will be subjected to a payment adjustment of -1.5% of total Medicare charges. That penalty is scheduled to increase to 2% in 2014.

The AAPF has supported the intent of the eRX initiative and worked closely with CMS and with other advocacy organizations to ensure that the program’s requirements are equitable and realistic for all physicians.

Our efforts have included successfully arguing for a delay in the imposition of the program’s original penalty phase until now, and making sure that hardship exemptions are available for providers who are unable to meet the eRx requirements through no fault of their own.


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