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PCMA Applauds Secretary Leavitt's Support for Requiring E-Prescribing in Medicare
Date:2/6/2008

committee that recommended that all physicians begin using e-prescribing by 2010 to help reduce the estimated 1.5 million preventable medication errors that occur in the United States annually. According to the IOM, each year some 7,000 people die from medication errors. Unfortunately, fewer than one-in-ten physicians currently use life-saving e-prescribing technology.

In an op-ed published today, Secretary Leavitt stated:

"Our progress is moving fast enough that it is time to make another important step: linking e-prescribing to Medicare reimbursements. I have proposed to Congress that when they deal with reimbursements for doctors in June, they require doctors to use e-prescribing in order to get the highest rates of compensation."

The complete exchange between Senator Kerry and Secretary Leavitt is below:

Senate Finance Committee

February 6, 2008

Sen. Kerry: We have a bill, a bipartisan bill that we put in, which would require physicians to adopt e-prescription and ask in return that every physician in Medicare adopt this practice by 2011. Every independent analysis indicates this saves lives. It saves money, and Medicare spending will be curbed if it is passed. And I think it should be passed and passed quickly. Do you agree with that? Do you agree with the judgment that it saves lives? It prevents errors, and that Medicare ought to adopt this rapidly?

Sec. Leavitt: It saves lives. It saves money. And it's time. Two years ago, I don't believe I could have said we're ready. But we now have succeeded in developing technology and having standards. This is the moment we need to begin to create that expectation that if you're going to be reimbursed at the highest rate, you need to provide it to us in the most efficient and safe way.

Sen. Kerry: So the standards are in place and the technology is there and we could go forward in your judgment?

Sec. Leavitt: In my judgment, we could, and w
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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