CHICAGO, July 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Allscripts, the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare, and the founding member of the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI(TM)), today announced its firm support for the United States Senate's approval of legislation that provides financial incentives for physicians to adopt electronic prescribing, or "e-prescribing," and requires adoption by 2011. If signed into law by President Bush, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331), also would reverse a planned 10.6 percent pay cut to physicians who treat Medicare patients.
"Electronic prescribing can prevent many of the needless deaths and injuries that medication errors cause each year, and with this legislation, the Senate has taken a significant step toward ensuring that patients are safer," said Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts and Co-Chair of NEPSI. "Allscripts and our NEPSI partners are committed to providing electronic prescribing technology at no cost to every physician. We urge the President to sign the bill into law and make it easier for more physicians to adopt this life-saving technology."
As an incentive for physicians to adopt e-prescribing, H.R. 6331 would increase Medicare payments to physicians who regularly utilize e-prescribing by 2 percent in 2009 and 2010, then slightly less over the next three years. Physicians who do not use the technology would see their payments cut by 1 percent in 2011, and a maximum of up to 2 percent for 2013 and beyond. The bill allows for some exceptions to the rule.
An estimated 35,000, or fewer than 10 percent, of U.S. physicians use e-prescribing. The technology cuts the risk of medication errors by automating the prescribing process and alerting physicians to possibly dangerous drug interactions or side effects. Electronic prescriptions also reduce the risk of a misread prescription and save money because physicians are made aware of cheaper generic drug options when writing prescriptions. The nonprofit Institute of Medicine, part of the Washington-based National Academy of Sciences, has urged physicians to move to e-prescribing to reduce what it says are 1.5 million preventable medication errors each year.
"Electronic prescribing and this legislation are essential steps to improving the quality of health care and safety of patients," said James Coffin, Ph.D., Vice President, Dell Health Care and Life Sciences. "Along with our NEPSI partners, we're committed to making this technology accessible and easy. Dell sees this legislation as an important first step in the broader adoption of technology across the U.S. health care system, which will ultimately result in better quality care and a more efficient system."
NEPSI is a coalition of the nation's leading healthcare and technology companies that is dedicated to eliminating preventable medication errors by providing free e-prescribing technology to every physician in America. NEPSI is led by Allscripts and national sponsor Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), a leading global systems and services company.
Other NEPSI sponsors are Aetna, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Google -- the coalition's Search Sponsor -- Horizon BCBS of New Jersey, Microsoft, NaviMedix, Quest Diagnostics, Sprint Nextel, SureScripts, Wellpoint, and Wolters Kluwer Health. The Allscripts web-based e-prescribing software is designed to appeal to physicians in solo practice or small groups. Available through NEPSI at no cost to any healthcare provider with legal authority to prescribe medications, the solution requires no download, no new hardware, and minimal training. The product can quickly generate secure electronic prescriptions and deliver them to the patient's pharmacy of choice.
According to the National Progress Report on ePrescribing (http://www.surescripts.com/report), 35 million prescription transactions were routed electronically in 2007. A new study by the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that if just 18 percent of physicians in Medicare adopt e-prescribing, the government will save $4 billion and nearly three million adverse drug events can be prevented over five years.
The National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI) is a coalition of the nation's most prominent technology companies and leading healthcare organizations dedicated to improving patient safety by providing free access to simple, safe and secure electronic prescribing for every physician in America. NEPSI includes national sponsors Allscripts and Dell; executive sponsors Cisco, Fujitsu, Microsoft, NaviMedix, Quest Diagnostics, Sprint Nextel and Wolters Kluwer Health; healthcare sponsors Aetna, Horizon BCBS of New Jersey and WellPoint; connectivity sponsor SureScripts; and search sponsor Google. The NEPSI offering also is supported by a growing number of academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks and physician groups across the U.S. who are leading the rollout of the NEPSI electronic prescribing solution within their states and regions. For more information, visit NEPSI on the web at http://www.NationaleRx.com.
Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) is the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare. The company's unique solutions inform, connect and transform healthcare, delivering improved care at lower cost. More than 40,000 physicians and thousands of other healthcare professionals in clinics, hospitals and extended care facilities nationwide utilize Allscripts to automate everyday tasks such as writing prescriptions, documenting patient care, managing billing and scheduling, and safely discharging patients, as well as to connect with key information and stakeholders in the healthcare system. To learn more, visit Allscripts at http://www.allscripts.com.
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements about Allscripts Healthcare Solutions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are developed by combining currently available information with Allscripts beliefs and assumptions. Forward-looking statements do not guarantee future performance. Because Allscripts cannot predict all of the risks and uncertainties that may affect it, or control the ones it does predict, Allscripts' actual results may be materially different from the results expressed in its forward-looking statements. For a more complete discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may affect Allscripts, see the Company's 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K, available through the Web site maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov.
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