E-Prescribing Developments and Considerations – Part III

There are three primary requirements for earning a Medicare E-Prescribing bonus. Today, we will address the first of the three requirements, which is the consistent usage of a “qualified” E-Prescribing system.

A qualified E-Prescribing system is one that:

1. Generates a complete medication list;

2. Allows the prescriber to select medications, transmit prescriptions electronically using the applicable standards, and warns the prescriber of possible undesirable or unsafe situations (e.g., contraindications; interactions, etc.)

3. Provides information on lower-cost, therapeutically-appropriate alternatives; and

4. Provides information on formulary or tiered formulary medications, patient
eligibility, and authorization requirements received electronically from the
patient’s drug plan.

It is noteworthy that an EMR that simply generates a prescription via facsimile to a pharmacy is not a “qualified” E-prescribing system. Nevertheless, CMS has recently extended its deadline (which had been January 1, 2009) for banning faxed prescriptions to Jan. 1, 2012.

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