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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and CVS Caremark Reach 5.5 Million e-Prescriptions
Date:4/2/2009

One of the Country's Largest e-Prescribing Initiatives Drives Industry-leading Prescriber Utilization

NEWARK, N.J. and WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- If you recently went to your doctor and received a handwritten prescription, you soon may be the exception, not the rule. That's right, in New Jersey more and more physicians are choosing to put down the prescription pad in favor of e-prescribing technology that is improving the quality of health care throughout the state.

Since 2004, more than 5.5 million e-prescriptions have been written by physicians taking part in the CVS Caremark and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) e-Prescribing program, making it one of the largest single-payor e-prescribing initiatives in the country. In 2008, physicians taking part in the program wrote nearly 2 million prescriptions, a 20 percent increase over 2007.

"This program improves the quality of care by reducing errors and increasing patient medication compliance," said Dr. Richard Popiel, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Horizon BCBSNJ. "With the recent passage of federal legislation encouraging the adoption of this technology, we expect more physicians to take advantage of e-prescribing."

"Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is a leader in the e-prescribing movement," said Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS Caremark's Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President. "We see the New Jersey provider community as an industry bellwether in using technology to improve safety and compliance for their patients. We will continue to use technology to innovate and increase our ability to share critical information with patients and their providers to encourage discussions about their health care."

There are more than 1,000 prescribers in New Jersey currently using CVS Caremark's proprietary iScribe electronic prescription system. There are another 2,500 prescribers accessing e-prescribing services, either through a standalone handheld or Web-based e-prescribing tool such as iScribe, or as a component of their Electronic Medical Record through a hospital or medical system.

iScribe-using physicians in New Jersey are showing some of the strongest e-prescribing trends for adoption and ongoing use of the tool in the country because of the value-add model, which includes account managers to drive use of the tool and sharing information about best practices.

Dr. Popiel said the focus on e-Prescribing is working. "The highest prescribers in our network are using iScribe for 75 to 80 percent of their prescriptions. Across the spectrum of prescribers that we support, we are driving to industry-leading usage levels. That translates to significant savings and safety benefits for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey patients."

A recent study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), estimated savings from e-prescribing at $845,000 per 100,000 patients, based on a 20 percent utilization level of the prescribers.

About iScribe e-Prescribing

iScribe e-prescribing allows prescribers to send prescriptions securely and directly to the patient's pharmacy of choice from either a handheld PDA or desktop computer. iScribe meets the qualifications set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2009 incentives provided through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, and is compliant with the CMS Part-D standards for e-prescribing.

iScribe provides the prescriber with generic and formulary coverage and alternative information, assisting the physician in selecting the most cost-effective medication for their patients. Physicians can use the electronic prescribing tools to write prescriptions for all of their patients, regardless of the patient's prescription benefit coverage. Physicians can check for potentially harmful drug interactions at the point of prescribing, or follow-up with patients when iScribe alerts them to unfilled prescriptions. The convenience of a mobile device ensures patient prescriber history is with them at all times -- either in the office or when the prescriber is on-call. iScribe electronic prescribing helps to reduce phone calls and faxes between the practice and the pharmacy, improve patient safety and drive better medication compliance.

About CVS Caremark

CVS Caremark is the largest provider of prescriptions in the nation. The Company fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually. Through its unmatched breadth of service offerings, CVS Caremark is transforming the delivery of health care services in the U.S. The Company is uniquely positioned to effectively manage costs and improve health care outcomes through its more than 6,900 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores; its Caremark Pharmacy Services division (pharmacy benefit management, mail order and specialty pharmacy); its retail-based health clinic subsidiary, MinuteClinic; and its online pharmacy, CVS.com. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site, at cvscaremark.com/investors, as well as through the press room section of the Company's Web site, at cvscaremark.com/newsroom.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is the oldest and largest health insurer in the state serving over 3.6 million members. Horizon BCBSNJ is New Jersey's only not-for-profit, health service corporation and is headquartered in Newark with offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton.

Horizon BCBSNJ provides a broad array of health and dental insurance products and services for individuals and small and large companies, including national companies headquartered in New Jersey. Horizon BCBSNJ is committed to improving the health care experience for all the communities we serve as well as helping our members become and stay healthy.

Horizon BCBSNJ's Web site is located at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

    Media Contacts:
    Daniel Emmer                       Steve Campanini
    Horizon BCBSNJ                     CVS Caremark
    Manager Public Relations           Corporate Communications
    (973) 466-4805                     (401) 770-5005


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SOURCE CVS Caremark
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