E-Prescribing Incentive

The Medicare Improvements and Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) includes more than just a fee schedule reduction reprieve. A series of additional provisions will be of interest to physician practices, including an incentive payment for e-prescribing. E-prescribing is the ability to send a prescription to the pharmacy electronically from your office. Reporting will be handled similar to PQRI reporting with a Category II code specifically for e-prescribing. Eligible physicians will receive a 2% incentive payment in 2009 and 2010, a 1% incentive payment in 2011 and 2012, and a 0.5% bonus planned for 2013. Details about how to report and the extent of prescribing necessary to secure the bonus have not yet been announced.

Medicare expects to save millions of dollars by physicians’ e-prescribing, as well as reduced drug error events. Practices with an electronic medical record may already have the ability to e-prescribe, although electronic medical records are NOT required to e-prescribe. Stand alone programs exist for this function.

Additional information about e-prescribing exists on the CMS website and the HHS website www.hhs.gov.

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