November 14, 2011
The federal government is so interested in having medical providers prescribe their medications electronically; they’re essentially paying them to do so.
But providers who don’t show clear evidence that they are making the move from paper prescriptions to electronic ones by Dec. 31 of this year will lose out on the financial incentive. And if they don’t boost their level of e-prescribing in 2012 and beyond, they not only won’t receive a financial bonus from the Medicare program, they’ll actually suffer a financial penalty.
The push for the e-prescribing of drugs actually began with the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, better known as MIPPA. The act authorized incentive payments from Medicare for health professionals who are steady e-prescribers.
In 2009, MIPPA mandated that frequent e-prescribers would receive incentive payments of 2% for 2009 and 2010. That figure would drop to 1% for 2011 and 2012, and then 0.5% for 2013.
That’s good news for providers who are making the switch from paper prescriptions to electronic ones. But MIPPA also came with the stick of potential penalties in addition to the carrot of incentives.
The act states that in 2012, providers who don’t e-prescribe often enough will face a percentage reduction in Medicare reimbursements equal to 1% in 2012, 1.5% in 2013 and 2% for 2014 and beyond.
To qualify for the 1% Medicare incentive payments, providers must send out 25 electronic prescriptions by Dec. 31 of this year.
Not everyone is happy with the threat of penalties in 2012. The American Medical Association, for instance, has argued that MIPPA doesn’t give health-care providers enough time to make the switch from relying on paper prescriptions to electronic ones.
It’s clear, though, that Medicare officials envision a day when all the prescriptions that move through its system are electronic ones. There are good reasons for this: e-prescribing is far more efficient and there are fewer opportunities for mistakes with electronically-prescribed medications.
The DrFirst Solution
Healthcare providers shouldn’t fear the growth of e-prescribing. Our own e-prescribing solution, which has won industry awards, makes life simpler for our clients. It also helps makes our providers more efficient.
In the long-term, our e-prescribing solution will be an asset to any provider’s business. That’s simply because our solution comes with the most features, boast the best customer service and is the most intuitive to use.
Don’t miss out on your Medicare e-prescribing bonus this year. Make the move to e-prescribing now. You’ll wonder why you waited so long.