Frequently Asked Questions
Will the ePrescribing system tell me what to prescribe? Will it restrict me from prescribing non-formulary meds?
No. ePrescribing systems do not limit the physician's authority to prescribe whatever therapies he or she deems appropriate. But they do typically offer relevant decision support including the formulary status of alternative medications. In many cases, relative cost or co-pay information is also available so that you and your patient can balance out-of-pocket drug costs with clinical effectiveness.
Can I access drug reference information from my ePrescribing system?
Many ePrescribing vendors offer clinical content from third-party vendors like ePocrates or Gold Standard.
Learn About ePrescribing
Calculate Your Savings
Your time savings is estimated using an average amount of time that physicians and staff spend on prescription renewal requests, as well as an average amount of time that staff spend on related calls such as clarifications and formulary calls.
Find an ePrescribing System
Setup: The product integrated easily with processes and other technology in my practice.
Usability: The product is intuitive and with training, easy to learn within the first few weeks of use.
Support: The vendor was very responsive when the user needed support.
Function: The product did everything expected based on information provided by the vendor.
Overall (five-star rating): Based on the quality and efficiency gains seen in the practice, the user would highly recommend this product to colleagues.
Each review displays a user’s individual number ranking for each category statement and their overall five-star scale rating. The user’s overall five-star scale rating will then be averaged with other user star ratings to calculate the vendor’s overall star rating. The display of user feedback is at the discretion of the AMA.
The level of access or authority assigned to a user of an ePrescribing or EMR system.
Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT)
A recognized certification body for electronic health records and their networks, and an independent voluntary private-sector initiative. Their mission is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating an efficient, credible and sustainable certification program.
Clinical decision support
Computer applications that link health knowledge data with patient-specific data and are designed to assist physicians and other health professionals with decision-making tasks.
An electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
A feature included in most ePrescribing systems that allows the prescriber to create custom shortcut lists of frequently prescribed medications and frequently used SIGs. For the prescriber, time spent upfront in creating these lists is well spent as they greatly facilitate the prescribing process and impact prescriber satisfaction with ePrescribing.
Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA)
The law that authorized the creation of the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program.
The incentive program provides for an incentive payment to eligible professionals who successfully ePrescribe medications in 2009 and 2010 equal to 2 percent of their total Medicare payments for the year. The incentive amount is reduced to 1 percent in 2011 and 2012 and is finally reduced to 0.5 percent in 2013.
Penalties for physicians who do not adopt ePrescribing systems begin at 1 percent in 2012 and increase to 2 percent by 2014.
Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA)
The law that authorized the Medicare Part D drug program. Even though the act applies to a single federal program, it is likely to drive transaction practices in almost all of healthcare.
Doctors are not required by the act to prescribe electronically. However, the Medicare Modernization Act regulations do require that after 2009, physicians and pharmacies that prescribe electronically for Medicare Part D beneficiaries must utilize the final standards for transactions approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
According to regulations, health plans (Part D sponsors) are required to establish and maintain after 2009 an electronic prescription drug program that complies with transaction standards adopted by CMS.
National Provider ID (NPI)
A unique identifier used by CMS to identify an individual health care provider to Medicare Part D sponsors, prescribers and dispensers, in electronically transmitted prescriptions or prescription-related materials for Medicare Part D covered drugs and Medicare Part D eligible individuals.
It is important to note that the NPI is used to identify the individual prescriber and dispenser in the electronic prescription process. Eligibility for the CMS ePrescribing Incentive program is determined at the NPI level, not the practice level.
NCPDP SCRIPT Standard
Data transaction standard maintained by NCPDP that supports ePrescribing transactions including new prescriptions, request and response for prescription renewals (refills), and prescription change requests.
The industry and NCPDP are working on a standard for automating the prior authorization process for prescription drugs. Once standardized, it is expected that electronic communication of prior authorization data will be implemented between ePrescribing systems and participating PBMs/health plans.
Coded instructions used by physicians for communicating medication usage to pharmacists. Shortened from the Latin word "signatura" or "signa." A standard Structured and Codified SIG transaction format is being developed by NCPDP.
Stand-alone electronic prescribing system
Software used to send and receive electronic prescriptions. ePrescribing software is offered in two forms: (1) a software package acquired and downloaded to your office computer, or more commonly, (2) through the Internet, whereby users connect with an ePrescribing software application service provider (ASP).
Stand-alone ePrescribing software does not include an EMR component. It does, however, store and manage patient data specific to the prescribing process (e.g., medication history, medication allergies, patient's preferred pharmacy and physician's frequently prescribed therapies).