DrFirst Healthcare Technology Blog

The MIPPA Breakdown

January 6, 2012

It’s a fact that e-prescribing can save a practice valuable time. And time is money. But does your practice realize just how much money in e-prescribing incentives is available? Are you aware of how much a financial penalty your practice might suffer if it does not switch to e-prescribing?

In 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, better known as MIPPA, established a series of incentives and penalties designed to encourage medical practitioners to switch from prescribing medications with pen and paper to filing prescriptions electronically. The theory behind MIPPA is simple: medical facilities will operate more efficiently and waste less money when switching to e-prescribing. At the same time, e-prescribing can help doctors avoid errors such as prescribing the wrong dosage with the result of improved patient outcomes.

The good news is that a growing number of providers have gotten the message that e-prescribing is the way of the future. Whether it’s a desire for MIPPA’s financial incentives or an equally strong desire to avoid penalties, according to Surescripts, in November 2011,52% of office-based physicians reported they were e-prescribing.  In September 2010, only 32% of office-based physicians reported e-prescribing.

If your practice does not fall in the group of e-prescribers, you are missing out on simple and easy to obtain federal incentives designed to increase adoption. The incentives are decreasing over the next two years:

  • In 2011, physicians using e-prescribing software began receiving a 1% Medicare bonus; the bonus remains at the same in 2012.
  • In 2013, the e-prescribing Medicare bonus will fall to 0.5 %.
  • In 2014, the bonus disappears entirely.

Beginning in 2012, MIPPA will impose penalties for those physicians still relying on pen and paper to send prescriptions to pharmacies.

  • In 2012, non-complying physicians will experience a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements.
  • A 1.5% reduction in 2013.
  • A 2% reduction in 2014.

The message is clear. Those physicians who do not e-prescribe will not only miss out on lucrative financial incentives, but will experience financial penalties. Do not make the mistake of waiting too long; explore the benefits of e-prescribing today.

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About the Author

Irene Froehlich

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

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