CHICAGO, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Allscripts, the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare, on behalf of the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI(TM)), strongly supports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal for the adoption of additional standards to be used by participants in the Medicare prescription drug benefit program when they prescribe electronically. The proposed new standards would help eliminate medication errors and the inefficiencies of a process that relies on handwritten paper prescriptions.
If the CMS standards are adopted after a public review period, physicians who prescribe electronically for Medicare patients would be required to have secure access to their patient's medication history, information about their drug coverage, standard patient instructions for taking medications, and a clinical drug nomenclature with standard names for medications. Physicians who know what medications their patients are taking and what drugs their insurance plan covers can prevent unhealthy drug interactions, and help their patients make sound financial choices regarding co-pays and generic medications.
"By further developing the standards for electronic prescribing, CMS has passed another important milestone in the government's plan to encourage the adoption of electronic health records and build an interconnected healthcare system in the United States," said NEPSI Co-Chair and Allscripts Chief Executive Officer Glen Tullman. "The new standards ensure that physicians have all the information they need to provide improved care at lower cost. NEPSI supports the proposed technical standards and urges their rapid implementation."
NEPSI is a coalition of the nation's leading healthcare and technology companies that is dedicated to eliminating preventable medication errors by providing free electronic prescribing technology to every physician in America. NEPSI is led by Allscripts and national sponsor Dell Computers, the world's leading computer company. Other companies sponsoring NEPSI are Aetna, Cisco Systems, eRx Networks, Fujitsu Computers of America, Google -- the coalition's Search Sponsor -- Horizon BCBS of New Jersey, Microsoft, NaviMedix, Quest Diagnostics, Sprint Nextel, SureScripts, Wellpoint, and Wolters Kluwer Health.
The coalition's web-based software, eRx NOW(TM), supports the standards proposed by CMS and is used today by more than 5,000 physicians who have signed on since NEPSI's launch in January 2007. Designed to appeal to physicians in solo practice or small groups, eRx NOW is available free to any healthcare provider with legal authority to prescribe medications, and requires no download, no new hardware, and minimal training. The product can quickly generate secure electronic prescriptions and deliver them computer-to-computer or via electronic fax to more than 95 percent of all U.S. pharmacies via SureScripts. All prescriptions are instantly checked for potentially harmful interactions with a patient's other medications using a real-time complete medication database provided by Wolters Kluwer Health, as well as real-time notification of insurance formulary status from leading payers, plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Clinicians also can use eRx NOW to search and find targeted health-related information for themselves or patients using the NEPSI Custom Search Engine from Google.
In its drive to extend ePrescribing to every physician in America, NEPSI also supports the efforts of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) to promote legislation requiring that all physicians who treat Medicare patients prescribe electronically, and to provide annual incentives for participating physicians. In the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, Part D sponsors were required to accept ePrescribing, and initial national standards were created for Medicare. Physicians, however, were not required to use the technology. As a result, fewer than one in 10 physicians have chosen to use electronic prescribing. NEPSI concurs with the PCMA that the only realistic way to rapidly accelerate adoption of ePrescribing is to require that physicians who treat Medicare patients use the technology.
According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medication errors are responsible for more than 1.5 million injuries and 7,000 deaths each year. Caring for the injured accounts for billions in extra costs. A new study by the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that if just 18% of doctors 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, eRx Networks, Fujitsu, Microsoft, NaviMedix, Quest Diagnostics, Sprint Nextel and Wolters Kluwer Health; healthcare sponsors Aetna, Horizon BCBS of New Jersey and WellPoint; connectivity sponsors 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 eRx NOW, within their states and regions. For more information, visit NEPSI on the web at http://www.NationaleRx.com. eRx(R) is a federally registered trademark belonging to eRx Network, LLC, and Allscripts' use is pursuant to license.
Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) is the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare. The Company's business units provide unique solutions that inform, connect and transform healthcare. Allscripts award-winning software applications include Electronic Health Records, practice management, e-prescribing, document imaging, emergency department, and care management solutions, all offered through the Company's Clinical Solutions units. Additionally, Allscripts provides clinical product education and connectivity solutions for physicians and patients through its Physicians Interactive(TM) unit, and medication fulfillment services through its Medication Services unit. To learn more, visit Allscripts on the Web 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 2006 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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