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.