Five major physician groups announced they were launching an online portal to help physicians transition from paper-based to electronic prescribing.
The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Medical Group Management Association are the groups launching the Web site, which will offer guidance to an estimated 150,000 prescribers throughout the U.S. that are currently using electronic medical records and other clinical software to fax prescriptions to pharmacies.
Many users believe their EMRs are sending prescriptions to pharmacies electronicallybut its likely that their system is actually generating a fax to the pharmacy, according to MGMA President and Chief Executive Officer William Jessee, who announced the news about the portal at the press event.
Through the new online resource, physicians will be able to find out if their existing software is compliant with the new Medicare regulations. It's also intended for physicians and practice-management professionals that have yet to invest in EMRs.
At the same event, Massachusetts for the second year in a row received the Safe-Rx award for ranking first in the nation on use of electronic prescriptions.
The award was created by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and SureScripts, and goes to 10 states that have demonstrated leadership in the use of e-prescribing technology.
Results of a nationwide audit of e-prescriptions transmitted in 2007 found that prescribers in Massachusetts sent more than 4 million prescriptions electronically, a figure that's more than six times the national average. Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington were the other states that received a Safe-Rx award.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), praised his state's efforts at an event to announce the awards in Washington. Kerry is co-sponsoring a bill that would offer physicians reimbursement for investing in e-prescribing technology as well as incentive payments for prescriptions that are transmitted electronically and then submitted as a claim to Medicare.