In response to Joseph Conn's "CMS' proposed rule to eliminate e-prescribed faxes":
The CMS' proposed rule to require electronic-prescribing systems to transmit data only online and never through faxes is premature, and could significantly slow e-prescribing adoption, especially in rural states. Patients must be allowed to select the pharmacy of their own choice. Current high-quality e-prescribing systems send the prescription online to pharmacies that are already equipped to handle the data transmission, while pharmacies that are not ready can still receive e-prescriptions by automated fax.
SureScripts and several of the vendors handle this "detection," keeping it entirely transparent to the physician. Physicians who must determine whether a patient's preferred pharmacy is or is not "transmission ready" before prescribing electronically will quite logically be reluctant to adopt the technology. Small independent pharmacies may be entirely dependent on their pharmacy management system vendors and their access to broadband to comply. Until all pharmacies are actively handling online transmission of e-prescriptions, the most the CMS should require is that e-prescribing systems be able to transmit data directly to those pharmacies that are able to receive it, and allow the substitution of automated faxing to those that are not.
Mary RatliffOwnerMary Ratliff ConsultingCharleston, W.V. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.