Navigation Links
Electronic Prescribing Saves Patients Money
Date:12/8/2008

It steers doctors toward lower-cost drugs, study finds

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- An electronic prescribing system that tells doctors which drugs are the least expensive can save millions a year, a new study finds.

"One of the challenges physicians face is that they don't know which drugs are preferred or not preferred," said Dr. Michael A. Fischer, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and lead author of a report in the Dec. 8/22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. "The insurance companies involved in the study provided that information by a color code -- green for drugs that were preferred, red for drugs that were not preferred."

The study of 17.4 million prescriptions filled by more than 1.5 million patients of nearly 1,200 Massachusetts physicians found that use of the least expensive drugs -- classified as "tier 1" for the study, such as those available generically -- increased by 3.3 percent when e-prescribing was used. Use of more expensive "tier 2" preferred brand-name drugs decreased by 1.9 percent, and use of "tier 3" non-preferred brand-name drugs decreased by 1.5 percent.

The result was an estimated savings of 70 cents per patient a month -- not much per individual, but it added up to $845,000 a year for every 100,000 people filling prescriptions.

And those savings were possible when just 20 percent of the doctors who had access to e-prescribing used it. "The potential savings increase with more availability and use of e-prescribing; for complete e-prescribing use, the projected savings are $3.91 million per 100,000 patients per year," the report said.

The U.S. government is pushing hard to increase electronic prescribing. Medicare is offering a 2 percent bonus over its regular fees for physicians using such a system in 2009 and 2010. The bonus will be 1 percent for 2011 and 2012, and 0.5 percent for 2013.

A number of different electronic prescribing systems are available, but many doctors have been reluctant to use them. Establishing a system can cost an estimated $3,000, with maintenance costs estimated at $80 to $400 a month. A study earlier this year found that only 17 percent of U.S. doctors have embraced electronic medical record systems.

The system used in the new study was established by two large insurance companies, which provided doctors in private practice with free wireless devices and access to a Web portal that color-coded drugs according by co-payment.

"Nothing in the system forces the doctor to make a choice of drugs," said Fischer, who is also an internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "But just color-coding, without forcing them to do anything, led to a movement to lower-cost drugs."

The e-prescription system is growing rapidly, said Kate Berry, senior vice president for business development at SureScripts-RxHub, a company formed in the recent merger of two former competitors. The company is an electronic middle man, maintaining a master index of patients of a large number of physicians, and matching requests for their prescriptions with offers from participating pharmacies.

"Right now we have almost 70,000 active subscribers," Berry said. "They are using more than a hundred different electronic medical record systems. We have added about 4,500 new active doctors in the last three months, and the level of use of those who have adopted the service is also increasing."

The decision to use an e-prescription service is up to the doctor, Fischer said, "but patients can certainly ask their doctors if they are e-prescribing."

More information

To learn more about e-prescribing, visit the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.



SOURCES: Michael A. Fischer, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Kate Berry, senior vice president, business development, SureScripts-RxHub, Alexandria, Va.; Dec. 8/22, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More proof needed of safety and quality of electronic personal health records
2. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
3. The ScottCare Corporation Completes Acquisition of Rozinn Electronics, a Leading Manufacturer of Cardiac Diagnostic Products
4. Keane Wins $1 Million Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Implementation at New Jersey-Based Acute Care Facility
5. West Penn Allegheny Health System Selects Electronic Health Record From Allscripts
6. Sandia National Laboratories Selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record and Practice Management for Employee Health Center
7. Kaiser Permanente Named Green Electronics Champion by EPA, Green Electronics Council
8. The Cardiovascular Multimedia Network (CVMD) and the International Society of Endovascular Specialists (ISES) Join Forces to Educate Practitioners Worldwide Through Electronic Media
9. Texas Childrens Hospital Selects Hyland Softwares OnBase to Complete Electronic Medical Records Initiative
10. Lakeside Systems Selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record for 100 Physicians
11. Herley Industries, Inc. Receives a $5 Million Award from EDO for Electronic Components for IEDs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Electronic Prescribing Saves Patients Money
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film ... Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery ... of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , ... for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In ... benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued ... Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the ... analysis in the report includes the following: ... Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: